Indiana (41-35) at Toronto (31-45)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: Toronto, ON
Temp: 81° F
  • Game info: 7:00 pm EDT Mon Apr 11, 2005
  • TV: WTTV, RNET
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Indiana Pacers look to rebound from a heartbreaking loss and continue their playoff push when they visit the lowly Toronto Raptors.

The Pacers, riding a season-high six-game winning streak, may have been a little too confident entering Sunday’s matchup with the struggling New York Knicks. Indiana recovered from a slow start only to lose the game in the final second of overtime, 113-112.

Indiana was outscored 56-40 in the paint and surrendered 53 percent shooting from the field.

“When you ease into the game like we did, you’re setting yourself up for trouble,” Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said. “When we play defense like we did, you’ve got to hope the other team misses and that’s not a secure feeling.”

Indiana, which has six games left, fell into a fifth-place tie with the Washington Wizards in the Eastern Conference. The Pacers trail the Chicago Bulls by three games for the fourth playoff spot and homecourt advantage in the first round.

Reggie Miller continued to excel for the short-handed Pacers, who are without leading scorer Jermaine O’Neal (shoulder) and assists leader Jamaal Tinsley (foot).

Miller, who has said he will retire after the season, scored a team-high 34 points. The 39-year-old guard, who had his sixth game of 30-plus points this season, has 25,182 in his career and needs 11 more to pass Jerry West for 12th place in NBA career scoring.

Stephen Jackson finished with 27 points while Anthony Johnson added 18 points and a career-high 16 assists for Indiana, which set a team record with 34 3-point attempts. The Pacers only made 11 of them.

Indiana can clinch a playoff spot with victories Monday at Toronto, which is out of playoff contention, and at home Wednesday against New Jersey, still battling for the postseason.

“Regardless of whatever team you’re playing theyre going to come out and try to beat you,” said Jackson, who left the game briefly after taking a hard hit to the head from teammate Scot Pollard. “We still have confidence and know that we can come back and win.”

The Raptors have lost seven of their last 10 games, including a 110-97 defeat to the Bulls on Saturday. Jalen Rose had a team-high 19 points, Morris Peterson 18 and Chris Bosh finished with 17 points and nine rebounds for Toronto, which was outrebounded 53-33, including a 21-6 edge on offensive rebounds.

Indiana has won nine of the last 11 meetings in the series.

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