- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 21, 2009

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Jarrett Jack scored 31 points and was nearly perfect a night after getting benched following a dispute with a teammate, and the energized Indiana Pacers dominated the Charlotte Bobcats 108-83 on Saturday to snap a five-game losing streak.

Jack hit 13 of 14 shots, all four free throws and added six rebounds as the Pacers had their best performance in weeks and shook off Friday’s incident that saw Jack get into a heated argument with T.J. Ford in a loss to Dallas.

Danny Granger added 21 points and Brandon Rush scored 15 for Indiana, which outscored Charlotte 33-9 in the third quarter.

Boris Diaw scored 15 points in a brutal performance by the Bobcats, who had their three-game winning streak snapped and their playoff hopes take a hit.

Entering the night one game behind eighth-place Chicago in the Eastern Conference, the Bobcats were the target of boos by their home fans after shooting 3-of-19 in the third quarter and allowing Jack to roam free at the other end.

Jack’s only miss came on a 3-point attempt in the first minute of the second quarter. Constantly beating Raymond Felton off the dribble, Jack was two points shy of his career high despite sitting out the fourth quarter.

There were many culprits as the Bobcats’ successful stretch of nine wins in 12 games ended with a thud.

Gerald Wallace, who had scored at least 25 points in the past three games, had three points on 1-of-4 shooting. Raja Bell scored seven points on 3-of-9 shooting that included a 10-second sequence where he threw up an airball and was called for a flagrant foul.

And Felton didn’t make up for his defensive deficiencies on offense, hitting three of 13 shots.

The Pacers, whose recent funk left them 4 1/2 games out of the final playoff spot, seemed energized after Friday’s dispute.

Jack and Ford had an on-court argument that carried over to the bench midway through the third quarter. They had to be separated by their teammates, and coach Jim O’Brien sent Jack to the locker room.

“Something happened between all of us,” O’Brien said before Saturday’s game. “We dealt with it and it’s behind us.”

O’Brien replaced Ford with Rush in the starting lineup against the Bobcats. Ford entered for the first time with 3:38 left in the first quarter, then was on the court for much of Jack’s first-half scoring flurry.

Jack shot 9-for-10 from the field, including a fadeaway jumper with 5 seconds left to put Indiana ahead 53-45 at halftime.

After Jack hit the second of consecutive jumpers to complete a 22-2 run that bridged the half, he high-stepped and high-fived to his teammates as a bewildered Bobcats coach Larry Brown called timeout facing a 70-47 deficit.

Notes:@ Pacers G Marquis Daniels (wrist) missed his second straight game, and O’Brien said he won’t play until he’s “able to take a normal shot with his right hand.” … The Bobcats signed G Dontell Jefferson to a second 10-day contract and Brown said they plan to keep C Alexis Ajinca and G Sean Singletary in the NBA Development League indefinitely. … Brown said managing partner Michael Jordan canceled plans to attend the game so he could watch his son, Marcus, play for the Illinois high school state title.

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