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Pacers shoot themselves in foot

Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS — Jermaine O’Neal believes there’s a 50-50 chance of Indiana’s shots going in. The way the Pacers have shot over the last three playoff games, the odds aren’t nearly that good.

The Pacers shot just 27.5 percent in a 72-67 loss to the Detroit Pistons in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals on Monday night.

“Right now, it’s not going in for us,” O’Neal said.

The series is tied at 1-1 and shifts to Detroit for Game 3 Wednesday.

It was the third straight game that Indiana shot less than 34 percent from the field. The Pacers won the previous two, but on Monday, it finally caught up with them.

“Shooting 27 percent is nothing to write home about,” Pacers center Jeff Foster said. “They hit shots down the stretch, we didn’t.”

The Pacers shot 32 percent in Game 6 of their second round series when they eliminated the Miami Heat, and followed that with 33.7 percent in their Game 1 win over the Pistons on Saturday.

On Monday, however, the Pacers weren’t as lucky.

They collapsed in the second half under Detroit’s stifling defense.

The Pacers shot just 3-for-22 in the fourth quarter and went the final 3:31 without a field goal as the Pistons made good on Rasheed Wallace’s guarantee that Detroit would win.

The Pistons blocked 19 shots and refused to let Jermaine O’Neal catch the ball in the low post in the second half. Wallace led the way with five blocks and Tayshaun Prince had four, none bigger than one on Miller late in the game.

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