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2001 NBA Game Recap – Indiana @ Sacramento

The date is January 5, 2001.

The Shaq and Kobe Lakers were going for their second of three straight titles, after defeating the Indiana Pacers the previous season. Since then, the Pacers lost Rik Smits to retirement and Dale Davis to a trade which netted Jermaine O’Neal.

Those Pacers travel to Arco Arena to face the up-and-coming Sacramento Kings, the year prior to them making game 7 of the Western Conference Finals.

So, what happened?


PG: Jalen Rose v Jason Williams – Both in their final year with these teams
SG: A 35 year old Reggie Miller v recently acquired Doug Christie
SF: A washed up Derrick McKey v a clean shaven Peja Stojakovic
PF: Breakout Jermaine O’Neal v Chris Webber at the peak of his powers
C: Sam Perkins v Vlade Divac – a 10 year Lakers NBA Finals reunion 

Coach: Isiah Thomas v Rick Adelman

1st Quarter

The first play of the game involved a Sam Perkins baseline jumpshot which bounced high off the rim, hitting the shot clock before falling back in. The refs had to quickly come together to confer before awarding the turnover. A Perkins graphic reminds us that he averaged 3.2 points and 2.2 rebounds that season, shooting 31% from the field. How was this guy still starting? Vlade Divac showed Perkins he still had point guard skills, taking the ball from the perimeter in for a dunk. Chris Webber came to play early, grabbing every rebound, throwing a few David Stiff pumpfakes, with a big dunk over Jermaine O’Neal and another finishing a White Chocolate behind the back pass the highlights. It didn’t take a quarter to hear the “If you don’t like that, you don’t like NBA Basketball” call from the Sacramento commentators.

Vlade leaves with a bruised thumb, replaced by Scot Pollard, with He-Man length hair tied in a pony tail and 5-o’clock shadow sideburns. Terry Mills is first off the bench for the Pacers, to which the commentators are quick to point out the similarities in appearance with George Foreman.

Despite Webber having 16 of Sacramento’s 22 first quarter points, they still trailed by 2 behind O’Neal’s hot hand and Reggie attacking J-Will’s defense.

Indiana 24 – Sacramento 22

2nd Quarter

The Pacers start the second with Travis Best, Austin Croshere and Al Harrington who would rather pass a kidney stone than a basketball. The Kings counter with Bobby Jackson, Jon Barry and Hedo Turkoglu, who the commentators kept pronouncing “tur-KOH-loo”.

Bobby Jackson saves the ball from going out of bounds and without looking fires it like a slingshot straight into Jon Barry’s face. Which the commentators ensure us is okay because “he’s got a pretty good schnoz”.

In case you were wondering who Perkins was beating for the starting spot, in comes Zan Tabak. After flashing a few Wild Thing Brett Wheeler fakes, Tabak prompts the commentators to say “well that’s a terrible looking 16 footer”. A couple of plays later, he’s on the wrong end of a Laurence Funderburke 3 point play and quickly removed from the game before any more harm is done. Vlade returns later in the quarter, and after back-to-back baskets, Perkins is dragged in favour of Tabak. I feel for you Isiah.

There is a shot clock malfunction which momentarily stops the game. After the very minor delay in the first play of the game, this was deemed by the commentators to be “really destroying the flow”. Wait until they hear about the coach’s challenge.

An ugly quarter with both teams combining to shoot 10/37.

Indiana 52 – Sacramento 43

3rd Quarter

Back with the starters, the Pacers jump out to a 12 point lead. The only Kings highlight being an out-on-you by Peja on McKey. I looked up McKey, he bumps Perkins up to 4th on the points per game list of Pacer starters.

The Kings go on a run in the second half of the quarter, behind good play from Jason Williams and a dominant Webber. Jermaine O’Neal shows Vlade a headfake and dunk, before more Webber brings the Kings to within 3 at the end of the quarter.

Indiana 70 – Sacramento 67


4TH Quarter

The Kings start the 4th strong, with Webber ripping a rebound away from Reggie Zion style. Webber is dominating O’Neal and quickly gets to 40 points. Jon Barry has the flop of the game to draw a charge on Croshere, but Croshere answers, followed by Rose, to get the Pacers back up 9 halfway through.

Webber is doing all the scoring for the Kings, with Williams having back-to-back shots miss the rim entirely, and Doug Christie having a shocker, fouling out with 3 minutes left.

O’Neal hits a purple patch, with a tip-dunk, big block on Webber, and a hard take to the rack leading to 2 free throws.

With 32 seconds left and the Pacers up 3, Reggie Miller steps out of bounds. On the other end, Webber gets a 3 point play with the foul on O’Neal, taking his personal tally to 51 points. O’Neal is then stripped at the other end, and Sacramento have the final shot with 4 seconds left. The ball goes to Webber, but it gets knocked away. Webber recovers but has to fire a half court shot, which he almost makes. We’re going to overtime.

Indiana 89 – Sacramento 89


Williams blocks O’Neal (you read that right) before O’Neal tries his revenge on a Jon Barry shot with a goaltend that would make Georgetown Patrick Ewing proud. Kings up 2.

Webber is everywhere, coming up with a steal which sends Jon Barry into the crowd. Webber’s shot is blocked though, leading to Rose scoring in transition. Tied at 91.

With 1:17 left, Rose again scores on a drive. Pacers up 2.

From then a Webber shot rattles out, Barry gets blocked by Perkins and Reggie Miller steps back and airballs a 3. Rose is fouled with 2 seconds left for a chance to put the game away. He misses both.

The Kings get the ball to Peja, but he is blocked by Rose and the Pacers think the game’s over. But the Kings get the ball back with 0.2 back on the clock. The attempt to C-Webb at the rim is too hard to control, and after an ugly overtime period in which only 6 total points were scored the Pacers come away with the victory, .

Indiana 93

Jermaine O’Neal – 20 points, 16 rebounds, 5 blocks
Jalen Rose – 19 points
Reggie Miller – 18 points
Zan Tabak – 0 points, 1 rebound, 1 turnover, 3 fouls

Sacramento 91

Chris Webber – 51 points, 26 rebounds
Vlade Divac – 13 points
Doug Christie – 30 minutes, 0 points, 1 assist, 1 rebound, 6 fouls



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