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Indiana picks up pace, rallies past New York

By the time the Indiana Pacers shook off the rust, they were down 19.

By the time they finished getting their act together, they had turned Game 1 into a comfortable victory.

Led by reserves Jalen Rose, Travis Best and Antonio Davis, the Pacers overcame a terrible start to win the opening game of their Eastern Conference semifinal series 93-83 Tuesday night.

"They played fantastic. That's why you have 12-man rosters," Reggie Miller said of the work by the bench. "They got us back in the game, and in the fourth quarter really put them away."

Rose and Best finished with 18 points apiece and Davis chipped in 14. Indiana's bench outscored New York's 56-20.

John Starks had 17 points and Allan Houston 16 for New York, which picked up right where it left off Sunday in Miami by jumping out to a big early lead.

Indiana, which hadn't played since last Thursday, trailed 23-7 before its reserves went to work, scoring 35 of the Pacers' next 40 points to give Indiana a 47-45 halftime edge. Rose had 13 of the points and Best chipped in 10.

There were four ties and four lead changes in the third quarter before Indiana took the lead for good with an 11-1 run in the final three minutes.

Reggie Miller had nine of his 17 points in the period, including a 22-footer with 3.4 seconds left in the period which gave Indiana its biggest lead of the night to that point, 73-64.

"We knew they just got done with a tough five-game series. We felt that if we came out and put some pressure on them that we could maybe wear them down," Best said.

Before the game, the latest Spike Lee-Reggie Miller exchange: Lee had a dozen dead black roses delivered to Miller with a card predicting a sweep by the Knicks.

More bitterness from the Heat-Knicks overflow: New York's Larry Johnson admitted whacking Miami's Alonzo Mourning in the face in the final seconds of Game 4 last week, but only after Mourning hit him. It was a cheap shot for a cheap shot.

"He looked me dead in the eye and started charging," Johnson said Tuesday. "He knew he was going to hit me in my face. I put my hands up and (he) popped me dead in the face and we bumped and he came back and I popped him in the face. No biggie. It's over with."

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