INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Stephen Jackson scored 30 points and Jermaine O’Neal had 25 to help the Indiana Pacers beat the Washington Wizards 111-87 on Thursday night.

The Pacers bounced back from losses to Seattle and Dallas, despite playing without forward Ron Artest. Artest, the NBA leader in steals per game and Indiana’s second-leading scorer, missed the game because of a right wrist injury.

Without Artest in the lineup, Anthony Johnson and Fred Jones shared the responsibility of guarding Washington star Gilbert Arenas, the league’s fourth-leading scorer. Arenas was averaging 28 points, but the Pacers held him to 17 on 5-for-18 shooting. Antawn Jamison added 16 points and 12 rebounds for the Wizards.

Washington scored the game’s first eight points and led 30-18 at the end of the first quarter. The Wizards extended that lead to 16 points early in the second quarter, but the Pacers made 14 of 19 shots in the period to cut Washington’s lead to one at 51-50 at halftime. Jackson scored 13 points in the quarter.

The Pacers made 16 of 23 shots in the third quarter to take an 87-71 lead. The 37-point quarter was the Pacers’ best this season.

The last time the Pacers played without Artest, they lost to Atlanta. This time, they shot 59 percent from the field.

Jones scored 17 points and Sarunas Jasikevicius finished with 12 points, eight rebounds and seven assists for Indiana.

The Pacers held Washington to 34-percent shooting.

Notes: Indiana’s Johnson got his first start of the season and finished with 10 points and nine assists. He started 36 games last season while Jamaal Tinsley was injured. Tinsley sat out Thursday night’s game because of a strained left quad, the fourth consecutive game he has missed … Indiana’s Austin Croshere got caught in a winter storm and didn’t make it to the arena until halftime. He started the second half and finished with five points and two rebounds.

AP-ES-12-08-05 2251EST


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