Miller, Pacers Light Up Nets


Reggie Miller hurt the New Jersey Nets in more ways than one.

Miller scored 13 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter and the Indiana Pacers survived a 39-point performance by Stephon Marbury to beat the Nets 119-112 in a season opener Tuesday night.

Miller caused the Nets more grief with a forearm to the face of Jamie Feick that broke the nose of New Jersey's center in the closing seconds of the game, which took nearly three hours to play and featured 77 personal fouls, three technicals and one flagrant.

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  • Marbury twice pulled the Nets within two points in the closing minutes with twisting layups, but both times Millers answered for the Pacers. Miller first hit a jumper from the right wing with 41 seconds left and he added two free throws with 18 seconds to play.

    "Reggie didn't shoot that well but he hit that big shot at the end and when you see him do it night after night you come to expect it," said Pacers point guard Mark Jackson.

    After Marbury's second layup made it 114-112 with 21 seconds left, Miller took the inbounds pass and was fouled as he tried to split a double team. Miller's flailing arm struck Feick in the nose and the Nets player fell to the floor bleeding.

    "I wasn't trying to elbow him, I was trying to split the double," said Miller, who was 4-of-13 from the field and 19-of-21 from the foul line. "I knew I was going to get fouled. I didn't know I hit him until I saw the blood. That's good for my reputation, though."

    Miller was called for a technical on the play but Marbury, who was 15-of-34 from the field, missed the free throw. Miller then hit his two free throws and the Pacers were never threatened again

    Dale Davis had 23 points and l3 rebounds for the Pacers. Jalen Rose, who keyed Indiana's 41-point first quarter by hitting his first six shots, finished with 17 points. Jackson and Al Harrington each had 14.

    "The difference in the game was letting them score 41 points in the first quarter," Nets guard Kendall Gill said. "We came out flat. I don't know how we came out flat being it was the first game."

    The game was also the first for Don Casey as the Nets full-time coach. He finished out last season as the interim coach after John Calipari was fired.

    "I think it was encouraging we came back," Casey said. "That's a solid veteran team."

    Keith Van Horn scored 16 points for New Jersey, but was only 5-of-19 from the field. Scott Burrell added 13 points and Gill had 11. Feick had nine points and 17 rebounds.

    The Pacers hit 8 of their first 11 shots and outrebounded the Nets 14-3 in taking a 41-27 lead after the first quarter.

    Notes

  • The 41 points were four shy of the Pacers record for the first quarter, set in 1991 against San Antonio.
  • The 14 points by Harrington were a career high. His previous best was eight last year as a rookie against New Jersey. ...The game was delayed three times so ballboys could mop up wet spots on the floor caused by condensation. ...The Nets never led in the game.

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