NUGGETS 98, PACERS 79
Reggie Injured in Preseason Finale
By Conrad Brunner | Oct. 29, 2004


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END RESULT
Another game, another major injury. Reggie Miller suffered a broken bone in his left hand in the first quarter of the Pacers' 98-79 loss to Denver on Friday night in Conseco Fieldhouse. Miller will be examined again Wednesday morning, but the initial estimate is a four-to-six week recover. That means the Pacers likely will open the regular season missing three starters. Center Jeff Foster is out at least six more weeks after undergoing right hip surgery, and power forward Jermaine O'Neal said Friday he expects to begin the year on the injured list because of the slow recovery of his injured left foot.
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WHAT IT MEANS
The Pacers wrapped up the preseason with a 6-2 record. The franchise best is 6-1 set in 1997-98 and 1980-81. Denver finished in a tie atop the NBA in the preseason with a franchise-record 7-1 mark, a good omen. The Nuggets' previous best was 5-3, achieved six times. In five of those seasons, the team reached the playoffs.
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UP NEXT
The regular season begins in Cleveland on Wednesday night. It's the fifth time in the last six seasons the Pacers have opened on the road. The Pacers won three of four from the Cavs last season, but Cleveland has since re-tooled with veteran guard Eric Snow and forward Drew Gooden joining rising star LeBron James.
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TURNING POINT
The Pacers led 38-33 late in the second quarter but Denver closed with an 11-3 run to take a 44-41 lead at the break, then opened the third quarter with a 9-2 burst to spread the margin to 53-43. The Pacers were unable to mount a serious challenge thereafter.
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INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
The Pacers shot .382 and committed 24 turnovers against just 12 assists. Ron Artest led the scoring 24 points on 7-of-13 shooting, adding seven rebounds, three steals and two blocked shots. Stephen Jackson scored 17 off the bench but was 5 of 14 from the floor. Austin Croshere had 11 points and five rebounds and Eddie Gill scored 10 with three steals. Scot Pollard pulled nine rebounds.

Nene led Denver with 17 points in 26 minutes. Rodney White came off the bench to score 16 with six rebounds. Greg Buckner scored 12 with three steals. Francisco Elson had a 10-point, 10-rebound double-double. Earl Boykins and DerMarr Johnson scored 10 apiece. Rookie Arthur Johnson pulled eight rebounds. The Nuggets shot .480 and outrebounded the Pacers 43-38.


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NOTEWORTHY
The Pacers were without starters Jermaine O'Neal (left foot) and Jeff Foster (right hip), as well as reserves Jonathan Bender (left knee), David Harrison (right shoulder) and Anthony Johnson (right hand). Coach Rick Carlisle expressed optimism Harrison would be ready for the regular-season opener Wednesday night, and did not rule out Bender.

Denver was missing starters Carmelo Anthony, Marcus Camby and Kenyon Martin, who were held out of the game but were not injured. Nikoloz Tskitishvili (right hamstring) was missed the game due to injury.

SETTING THE PACE
RON ARTEST
Scored 24 points on 7-of-13 shooting, adding seven rebounds.

UNSUNG HERO
EDDIE GILL
Scored 10 points with three steals in 23 minutes off the bench.

QUOTABLE

RICK CARLISLE
"It's a different adversity with all these things happening at once. This is tough, but it's what teams go through, at times. We'll just have to deal with it."

DUNK-O-METER
Stephen Jackson 1
James Jones 1
Pacers 2, Nuggets 7

HIDDEN NUMBERS
Points in the paint:
Nuggets 42, Pacers 34
Fast-break points:
Nuggets 19, Pacers 12
Second-chance points:
Pacers 13, Nuggets 7
Points off turnovers:
Nuggets 25, Pacers 12
Starters scoring:
Nuggets 51, Pacers 42
Bench scoring:
Nuggets 47, Pacers 37

STAT OF THE GAME
The Pacers had nearly as many turnovers (24) as field goals (26).

http://www.nba.com/pacers/news/game_041029.html

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