LOS ANGELES — All five Indiana starters played significant roles for coach Rick Carlisle against the Los Angeles Clippers — none bigger than Austin Croshere.
After being held to five points through the first three quarters, Croshere scored 12 in the fourth and grabbed a critical offensive rebound in the final seconds to help the Pacers hold off a late rally by the Clippers for a 97-92 victory on Sunday.
"We couldn't have won this game without the total team effort," teammate Jermaine O'Neal said. "Austin was the catalyst, getting in there and hitting those big 3-point shots. There were multiple plays he made in the fourth quarter, and that's what makes us a talented team."
Ron Artest scored 22 points and O'Neal added 16 points and 13 rebounds for the Pacers, who handed the Clippers their first home loss in six tries and prevented them from setting a franchise record for the most wins at home from the start of a season. Stephen Jackson scored 15 points on 6-for-15 shooting after going 4-for-15 on Friday's 97-95 loss to Atlanta.
Elton Brand had 22 points and nine rebounds for the Clippers, who have lost consecutive games for the first time this season after a franchise-best 9-2 start.
"They put up 84 shots to our 70 shots, and you can't win like that," shooting guard Cuttino Mobley said. "They got a little physical with us, and it showed. You're not going to get the looks you might normally get when you're playing Indiana."
Chris Kaman finished with 18 points and 12 rebounds, but the Clippers still managed to squander nine-point leads twice.
"We've got a lot of guys who play to win," Artest said. "We were down, but we didn't give up. We started out slow, but we played hard, took care of the ball and came out ahead."
Artest, who missed Friday's 87-85 loss to Atlanta because of a bruised right wrist he injured on a hard foul by Cleveland's LeBron James on Thursday, shot 8-for-19 from the field. The eight-year veteran, who was named the NBA's defensive player of the year two seasons ago, is averaging 21.2 points.
TRAIL BLAZERS 77, HAWKS 75: At Atlanta, Darius Miles scored on a bank shot with 1.3 seconds left, giving Portland a victory and ending Atlanta's two-game winning streak. Hawks' rookie Salim Stoudamire missed a last-second jumper following Miles' go-ahead basket over Atlanta's Zaza Pachulia.Zach Randolph led Portland with 24 points, making 12-of-15 shots from the field.
NETS 102, LAKERS 96 (OT): At Los Angeles, Jason Kidd scored six of his season-high 35 points in overtime, and had eight rebounds and 12 assists Sunday night, leading New Jersey over the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Nets won despite Kobe Bryant's 46 points — an NBA single-game high this season. Bryant scored all but seven of his points after halftime, but only one in the overtime period.
Bryant shot 14-of-36 and 14-of-16 from the foul line.
A basket by seldom-used Jacque Vaughn with 3:39 remaining in the overtime gave the Nets a 95-93 lead, and they were on top the rest of the way.New Jersey never trailed in the game in snapping a three-game losing streak.
Brian Cook's 10-footer as time expired sent the game into overtime. Cook rebounded a miss by Lamar Odom, and was mobbed by his teammates after making the tying shot. But the Lakers were outscored 11-5 in the overtime period.