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Pacers get balanced scoring in win over Nuggets

Sunday, March 1, 2009

By CLIFF BRUNT

AP Sports Writer

INDIANAPOLIS -- Jarrett Jack had 28 points and eight assists, Troy Murphy had 22 points and 17 rebounds and the Indiana Pacers beat the Denver Nuggets 100-94 on Sunday night.

Marquis Daniels added 19 points and six rebounds for the Pacers, who've made a habit of beating the league's top teams. Indiana has defeated the Los Angeles Lakers, Boston, Cleveland, Orlando and now, Denver.

That leaves San Antonio as the only current division leader the Pacers haven't beaten.

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.

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 Daniels drained a baseline jumper that pushed the lead to eight.

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.

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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