Sixers Top Pacers As Offense Is The Key

Posted: November 25, 1993

INDIANAPOLIS — The 76ers won with their offense last night, which might not be a formula for continued success, but it worked against the Indiana Pacers.

Coming back from 14 points down in the first half, the Sixers caught fire, then held on to beat Indiana, 108-97.

The hottest shooters were Dana Barros (22 points) and Tim Perry (20), who combined to make 20 to 24 shots. They could do little wrong, and they carried the Sixers to their second road win of the season and a 4-7 record overall.

Both teams shot better than 50 percent from the field - field-goal defense was little more than a rumor. The Sixers did force 17 turnovers, though.

The big contributions from the bench were needed because Clarence Weatherspoon struggeled through an awful shooting night and Shawn Bradley failed to establish himself at the offensive end.

It was an active night for Bradley, however, who traded hard shoves with Indiana center Rik Smits throughout the evening and looked more aggressive than usual after he recovered from a first-half altercation.

Bradley lost his composure early in the second quarter and had to be taken out of the game.

He and Smits were fighting for position at the Pacers' offensive end. Bradley hooked Smit's arm, and Smits whirled Bradley around and spun him easily to the floor.

Referee Ron Garretson called the hooking foul on Bradley, and the Sixers' rookie leaped up, ran to half-court and told coach Fred Carter to get him out of there. He was apparently too mad to play.

The Sixers were down by 12, 44-32, when Bradley went out, and in his absence went on an immediate run.

Forcing turnovers with their traps, hitting from the outside and getting back quickly on defense, the Sixers went on a 21-7 spurt to take a 53-51 lead with less than three minutes left in the half.

The run was good news for the Sixers, particularly since they seemed on the brink of getting blown out, but their inability to do much with Bradley on the floor marked another night when the future seemed far away.

Smits had 15 points in the first half, which might have contributed to the rookie center's anger. Against Bradley, Smits wheeled around the lane and got free for little jump hooks and layups with regularity.

At halftime, the Pacers led, 59-58. With Bradley on the floor, the Sixers had been outscored, 24-19. With Eric Leckner at center, the Sixers had a 39-35 advantage.

Both teams were shooting extremely well, each making 24 of 41 shots for 58.8 percent. What helped bring the Sixers back was that they committed just three turnovers in the second quarter after having seven in the first quarter.

Barros came off the bench to score 17 points in the half and lead the Sixers. He took over for Jonny Dawkins early and played 18 minutes in the first half.

*

As the Pacers attempt to break away from their history of mediocre play by shaking up the team, they couldn't have a coach better adaptable to change than Larry Brown.

Brown likes to change jobs - he's on his third in the last three seasons - but he also like to change his players.

The Pacers have already traded Detlef Schrempf, perhaps their best player. And now the Pacers are mulling the construction of a large trade with the Dallas Mavericks that, according to league sources, could send forwards Malik Sealy, Sam Mitchell and LaSalle Thompson to Dallas for Sean Rooks, Terry Davis and Derek Harper.

The deal, if it happens, is being delayed until Indiana forward Derrick McKey comes off the injured list. In his absence, Sealy is the only true small forward at Brown's disposal.

Dallas coach Quinn Buckner is determined to unload several players, and he has butted heads this season with Harper, the veteran point guard who would very much like an exit.

"We haven't said we want to do anything yet and they haven't said they want to do anything yet," said Pacers general manager Donnie Walsh. "But the thing between Harper and Quinn is real."

Rooks was activated from the injured list this week, lending speculation that the 6-foot-10 center could be moved soon. Chicago and Golden State are also said to be interested in Rooks, and Charlotte is considering acquiring Harper to bolster the Hornets' thin ranks at point guard.

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