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 Pacers get balance scoring in win over Nuggets

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PostSubject: Pacers get balance scoring in win over Nuggets   Mon Mar 02, 2009 7:22 pm

INDIANAPOLIS(AP) The Indiana Pacers again have proven they can beat any team in the league on their home court.Jarrett
Jack had 28 points and eight assists, Troy Murphy had 22 points and 18
rebounds and the Pacers beat the Denver Nuggets 100-94 on Sunday night.Indiana
has defeated the Los Angeles Lakers, Boston, Cleveland, Orlando and
now, Denver, at Conseco Fieldhouse. That leaves San Antonio as the only
current division leader the Pacers haven't beaten."I think we
have a great fear of really getting embarrassed out there against some
of these top teams,'' Murphy said. "For whatever reason, against some
of the teams that have a couple more losses, we play down to the level
of the competition.''Chauncey Billups led the Nuggets with 27
points and seven assists. Carmelo Anthony scored 20 points, but was
8-for-24 from the field, and Nene added 12 points and 10 rebounds.Denver,
which leads the Northwest Division, was coming off a win over the
Lakers on Friday. Billups didn't feel the Nuggets underestimated the
Pacers, who are 19-11 at home and are playing well without injured
All-Star Danny Granger."I don't think there was a letdown,'' he
said. "We came in focused. Obviously, this team is difficult,
especially in this building. They get to running and gunning, and
they've got guys that can really make plays. Although they're without
some of their good players, they've got other guys that are playing
well and making plays.''Jack is one of those players. He scored
a career-high 33 points against New York on Feb. 23, and is averaging
24 points in his past four games."He's been huge, especially
with all the injuries we've had,'' Murphy said. "He's a guy who's able
to step in and play multiple positions, he gets the ball to the basket,
he makes big assists and plays tough defense. He's been great for us
all year, off the bench, starting. He does really whatever we need.''Murphy
also has been playing better than usual. He has seven consecutive
double-doubles and has averaged 19.3 points and 15.4 rebounds in those
games.Denver's high-scoring offense was held in check by a team
that ranks near the bottom of the league in scoring defense. The
Nuggets shot 36 percent from the field overall, scored 12 points in the
second quarter and were outscored 32-19 in the fourth quarter."Our
team should never have a 12-point quarter,'' Denver coach George Karl
said. "We reverted back to not making the extra pass, not finding the
open man.''Indiana led 45-41 at halftime after holding the
Nuggets to 33 percent shooting before the break. The Nuggets hit two
3-pointers in the final minute of the third period to take a 75-68 lead
into the fourth.Indiana fought back, and a layup by Daniels gave the Pacers a 79-78 lead with just over eight minutes to play.The
Pacers extended the lead on two key plays by Murphy. On the first one,
he caught a deflected pass and made a bank shot as the shot clock
expired. The next one was a 3-pointer that gave Indiana a 90-84 lead
with 4:35 to go.Indiana led 92-86 and got offensive rebounds
twice with the shot clock near zero before Marquis Daniels drained a
baseline jumper that pushed the lead to eight."Indiana never quit,'' Karl said. "They had three or four bounces that were incredible.''Jack
made a 3-pointer from the left corner as the shot clock expired to make
it 97-88 with 1:38 to play. Billups made a layup to make it 98-94, then
Daniels turned the ball over. Smith missed everything on a 3-pointer,
and Jack made two free throws to close out the game.Denver was 13-0 on the road when leading at the end of the third quarter, and 31-1 overall."We
stayed in the game, we didn't let the score dictate how we played the
next possession,'' Jack said. "No matter what the score was, we stuck
with the game plan and that was the thing that got us back into the
game and eventually brought us to the win.''Notes: The Pacers
were called for two technicals in the first half - one on T.J. Ford in
the first quarter in response to a foul by Denver's Dahntay Jones, and
one on coach Jim O'Brien for arguing with officials in the second
quarter. ... Indiana G Travis Diener sat out with the flu. ... Denver's
41 points in the first half was one of its lowest totals of the season.
Its worst was 37 points on Feb. 23 against Boston.

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