Away from the friendly confines of Conseco Fieldhouse, the Indiana Pacers were no match for the streaking Los Angeles Lakers.
The Pacers, who snapped the Lakers' 16-game winning streak in January, became victim No. 14 in the rematch in Los Angeles.
''They played an excellent game at home and we didn't play that well,'' said Shaquille O'Neal, who had 31 points and 15 rebounds in the Lakers 107-92 win Friday night.
Kobe Bryant added 22 points and had seven assists for Los Angeles, which took control early and remained comfortably in front.
''We're just playing with a lot of confidence right now, but there's still a lot of room for improvement,'' Bryant said. ''It's not really hard to keep the intensity level high when you're playing against top-notch competition because they provide so many challenges for you.''
In other games, it was Portland 101, Vancouver 91; Toronto 114, Boston 104; Atlanta 83, New York 70; Utah 89, Charlotte 87; and Denver 122, Golden State 88.
The Lakers opened a 30-16 lead by the end of the first quarter, and the Pacers got no closer than nine.
When Indiana threatened, moving to 82-73 early in the fourth, O'Neal took charge, scoring the Lakers' first nine points of the quarter to help them pull away again.
The Pacers' Reggie Miller didn't get his first basket until 3:05 before halftime, although he finished with 22 points.
''In the first half, I wasn't aggressive enough, so I tried to be more assertive going to the basket and looking for more opportunities,'' Miller said.
The Pacers halted the Lakers' 16-game run, the league's longest this season, with a 111-102 victory at Indianapolis on Jan. 14.
''I think it was important to beat them and split the series, especially after losing to them at their place,'' the Lakers' Derek Fisher said. ''If we do face them in the finals, we'll have the confidence that we can win a game against them.''
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