Sixers fall to Indiana

January 21, 2008 2:10:20 PM PST
Kareem Rush scored a season-high 25 points and Mike Dunleavy added 24 to help the Indiana Pacers beat the Philadelphia 76ers 110-103 on Monday. Danny Granger had 18 points and Troy Murphy, who left with a sore left knee, added 13. Jamaal Tinsley had 13 assists and Jeff Foster grabbed 10 rebounds for the Pacers, who moved into a tie with New Jersey for the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference standings.

Andre Iguodala led the Sixers with 23 points and Andre Miller had 21. Samuel Dalembert had 13 rebounds.

But it wasn't enough for the Sixers, who flopped at the free throw line. While Indiana stretched its lead on 14 3-pointers, the Sixers couldn't seriously make a run because it made just 21 of 34 free throws.

Iguodala went 11-for-13 from the line, but Louis Williams was only 2-for-6 and wasted an otherwise steady 14-point effort off the bench.

Pacers coach Jim O'Brien won in his first trip to Philadelphia since he was fired after leading the Sixers to the playoffs in 2004-05, his only season as their coach. O'Brien led the Sixers to their last playoff berth and they're headed toward their third straight appearance in the draft lottery.

The Sixers got as close in the fourth as 106-100 on Iguodala's 3-point play with 2 minutes left. Iguodala followed with an airball off the break on a defensive rebound and the Sixers blew their last chance to rally and threaten the Pacers in the final minute.

Rush scored on a layup and Iguodala missed again on a driving layup to seal the win for the Pacers.

The Pacers went ahead by 15 early in the third when Foster, Rush and Granger all hit long jumpers on three straight possessions.

Much like they did in the first half when the Sixers went on a long run to chip away at the lead, Philadelphia went on an 11-0 spurt late in the third that cut the lead to 76-74. But the Pacers closed on a 14-5 run.

The Sixers used a 16-0 run to pull ahead 37-35 in the second quarter. Murphy hit a 3 to help Indiana regain lead. Rush and Dunleavy hit 3s on consecutive possessions at the end of the half to give the Pacers a 63-49 lead at the break.

Rush went 4-for-5 from 3-point range and the Pacers made 10 of 17 in the first half.

The start of the game was delayed nearly 10 minutes because the shot clock was not working. Temporary shot clocks were placed on the baselines and the problem was solved in the second half.

The Sixers honored Bobby Jones, the sixth man on their 1983 championship team, at halftime. ... Injured Pacers F Jermaine O'Neal called sitting out the season with a bruised left knee a "worst-case scenario" and refused to put a timetable on his return. The Pacers said he'd be out at least two weeks.