Jackson leads Pacers past injury-riddled Kings

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- Stephen Jackson stared down the

Sacramento crowd and blew on his hot fingers after his fourth

consecutive 3-pointer ripped through the net.

The Indiana Pacers were well on their way to a blowout victory --

and the Kings' stars were on their way to a benching.

Jackson scored 17 of his season-high 31 points while hitting

five of the Pacers' 13 3-pointers, and Jermaine O'Neal had 12

points and eight rebounds in his return to the lineup for a 108-83

win Sunday night.

Coach Rick Carlisle got exactly what he expected out of his team

after a tremendous practice at Arco Arena one day earlier. The

Pacers took control with a 23-6 run in the second quarter and a

19-6 surge in the third, while their defense completely flummoxed

Mike Bibby and Peja Stojakovic, who were benched shortly after


"We played with an edge, especially on the defensive end,"

Carlisle said. "When you have that type of aggression defensively,

generally good things happen on the offensive end. It was one of

our better efforts of the year."

Fred Jones scored 18 points for the Pacers, while Jackson's four

straight 3-pointers put Indiana up by 33 points in the third,

practically guaranteeing the end of a six-game losing streak

against the Kings.

O'Neal didn't start and played just 22 minutes after missing the

last three games with the flu, but the Pacers didn't need him.

Jones, Austin Croshere and Sarunas Jasikevicius combined for seven

3-pointers against Sacramento's pathetic perimeter defense, and the

Pacers led by 35 points late.

"Winning two straight was huge for us, (because) we have been

going through a lot," Jackson said of the Pacers, who have been

distracted by O'Neal's illness and Ron Artest's pending departure,

among several issues. "That tells a lot about this team. Everybody

is handling our situation pretty well. No matter what we're going

through, we have a job to do every day."

The Kings seem to do their jobs only every other day.

Kenny Thomas scored 21 points for the injury-depleted Kings, who

showed none of the life from their 118-114 victory over the Los

Angeles Clippers two nights earlier. Bibby went 1-for-10 before

getting pulled, and Stojakovic had 12 points -- just two after

halftime, when Sacramento was booed off the floor with a 21-point


"We didn't compete. It's hard for me to understand," coach

Rick Adelman said. "They started imposing their will, and we just

backed down and moved out of the way. I don't know how you could do

that. Everybody in that room is going to have to look at themselves

and try to figure out what's going on, and think about why we're so

up and down."

With their final basket, the Kings avoided surpassing their

biggest loss ever to the Pacers, a 26-point defeat in 1993.

Sacramento also was one point better than in its biggest loss of

the season, a 26-point defeat in Oklahoma City on opening night.

Jackson tied the Kings franchise record for the most 3-pointers

in a quarter by an opponent. Both clubs' reserves played the

fourth, and Bibby sat away from the Kings' huddle during the rest

of the night's timeouts, gazing into the crowd while Adelman spoke

to the team.

"We just didn't come in with any energy," said Jason Hart, who

had a season-high 10 points. "We didn't even give ourselves a

chance to win. It was a bad, bad loss. You don't want to go on the

road with a loss like that, because the next team will feed on


The Kings dropped to 9-11 at home, losing as many games as they

did all last season. Sacramento has been one of the NBA's toughest

home teams since Adelman's arrival in 1998, but his club will have

its worst record at Arco Arena during his tenure with one more


Shareef Abdur-Rahim has missed five straight games with a broken

jaw, and Bonzi Wells has missed seven straight with a torn groin

muscle. Neither first-year Kings starter is expected back any time

soon.Game notes
While O'Neal returned, G Jamaal Tinsley remained sidelined

for the Pacers, missing his fifth straight game with a torn biceps

muscle. ... C Scot Pollard, the popular former Sacramento backup,

also was back in uniform after missing the last game with the flu.

He got a loud ovation when he got off Indiana's bench in the third

quarter, and finished with four points and four rebounds. ...

Pacers C David Harrison got a technical foul for arguing while his

team was ahead by 33 points with 3:39 to play.