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Indiana snaps Mavs' 15-game win streak

Posted: Friday, November 29, 2002

INDIANAPOLIS -- Mavericks owner Mark Cuban bit his lower lip as he walked off the court, wearing a look of dejection and disappointment for the first time since last spring.

Unbeaten no more, Dallas was denied a spot in the NBA record books Thursday night by an Indiana Pacers team that showed why it has the best record in the East.

Repeatedly working the ball inside to take advantage of its low-post talent, Indiana got 26 points from Jermaine O'Neal and inspired efforts from Al Harrington, Brad Miller and Ron Artest to defeat the Mavericks 110-98.

The Pacers prevented Dallas (14-1) from matching the 1948-49 Washington Capitols and 1993-94 Houston Rockets for the best start to a season in NBA history -- 15-0.

''They could have made history tonight, and I don't think anybody wanted history to be made against us,'' Artest said. ''So that probably gave us a little extra boost.''

Artest scored 20 points, including Indiana's first 10, while Harrington scored 21 on 9-of-12 shooting and Miller added 16 on 7-of-8 shooting.

O'Neal grabbed 18 rebounds and Artest had 10, helping the Pacers to a 54-36 advantage on the boards as Indiana improved the East's best record to 12-2.

''In order to win this game, you're going to have to use everything you have from a strategy standpoint, because they're the best team in the NBA right now,'' Pacers coach Isiah Thomas said before the game.

The Pacers indeed came up with an effective plan of attack, finding ways to get the ball inside no matter what kind of defense Dallas was playing.

''We were very patient against the zone. I thought our execution was crisp and solid,'' Thomas said.

The Pacers went straight to the basket right from the beginning, with Artest scoring their first 10 points -- eight on layups, the other two on free throws after he was fouled underneath.

Dallas used an 11-2 run to erase an early 10-point deficit and take a 24-23 lead, but the Mavericks weren't able to keep the momentum. Reggie Miller hit a 3-point shot and then scored on a layup off a steal by Artest to make it 47-39.

After going 7-for-7, Harrington finally missed a shot late in the second quarter, but O'Neal was there for the putback that gave Indiana a 57-44 lead.

''We knew we had to be tough inside to beat this team. We controlled the game from start to finish,'' O'Neal said.

Artest hit a 3-pointer early in the third for a 68-55 lead, and O'Neal closed the quarter with an alley-oop dunk off a pass from Harrington for an 84-69 lead.

''We didn't have a lot left in the tank, as you could tell,'' Mavericks coach Don Nelson said.

Clippers 126, Nets 118, OT

LOS ANGELES -- Andre Miller equaled a career high with 37 points, and Elton Brand made a three-point play to put Los Angeles ahead for good against New Jersey.

Miller, who also had a season-high 16 assists, forced overtime by making a 3-pointer with 4.9 seconds left in the fourth quarter to tie it at 111.

Brand, who had 21 points, eight rebounds and four blocked shots, put the Clippers on top 118-116 with 3:02 left. Michael Olowokandi, who had 14 points, nine rebounds and five blocks, made four free throws in the final minute to clinch the victory.

Jason Kidd had 35 points, including all seven for the Nets in overtime, along with eight rebounds and eight assists. He made a 3-pointer early in overtime -- the Nets' franchise-record 15th -- to give New Jersey a 114-113 lead.



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