Orlando (8-26) at Indiana (26-10)

Cloudy Currently: Indianapolis, IN
Temp: 70° F
  • Game info: 7:00 pm EST Tue Jan 6, 2004
  • TV: SUN, FSMW
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Jermaine O’Neal looks to extend his string of double-doubles to nine games as the surging Indiana Pacers host the Orlando Magic.

O’Neal has at least 10 points and 10 rebounds in each of the last eight games, helping the Pacers to a 6-2 record over that span. The 6-foot-11 power forward is leading Indiana with 20.5 points and 10.5 rebounds this season.

O’Neal had 22 points and 11 rebounds as Indiana earned its fifth win in a row by beating the Miami Heat 87-65 on Monday. Ron Artest also scored 22 points for the Pacers, who defeated the Heat for the seventh straight time.

O’Neal’s double-double was his 22nd of the season, ranking him third in the NBA behind San Antonio’s Tim Duncan (28) and Minnesota’s Kevin Garnett (27).

Indiana’s five-game winning streak has come during an arduous stretch in the schedule. Tuesday’s game against Orlando will be the eighth in 11 nights for the Pacers, who have the best record in the Eastern Conference.

The Magic, who have lost four straight, have the worst record in the NBA at 8-26.

Despite their latest skid, Orlando coach Johnny Davis doesn’t think his team is playing as badly as it did to start the season.

“I don’t think by any stretch of the imagination that this is the same team that lost 19 in a row,” Davis said. “So, I don’t think that will be an issue. The larger issue is that we need to come out and play hard every night and give ourselves a push from the start of the game.”

Tracy McGrady led Orlando with 34 points in Saturday’s 112-103 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies.

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