1999–2000 Indiana Pacers season

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1999–2000 Indiana Pacers season
Conference Champions
Division Champions
Head coach Larry Bird
General manager Donnie Walsh
Arena Conseco Fieldhouse
Record 56–26 (.683)
Place Division: 1st
Conference: 1st
Playoff finish Lost to Los Angeles Lakers in NBA Finals (2-4)

Stats @ Basketball-Reference.com
Local media
Television Fox Sports Net Midwest, WTTV
Radio WIBC
< 1998–99 2000–01 >

The 1999–2000 Indiana Pacers season was Indiana's 24th season in the NBA and 33rd season as a franchise.[1] It was their first season playing at the Conseco Fieldhouse. The Pacers finished first in the Central Division with a 56–26 record. Jalen Rose averaged 18.2 points per game and was named Most Improved Player of the Year. Reggie Miller and Dale Davis were both selected for the 2000 NBA All-Star Game. In the playoffs, the Pacers defeated the Milwaukee Bucks in five games in the first round, and Philadelphia 76ers in six games in the semifinals before preceding to defeat their archrivals the New York Knicks in a tough, hard fought six game series in the Eastern Conference Finals en route to advancing to the NBA Finals for the first time, only to lose to the Los Angeles Lakers in six games.

Following the season, Larry Bird resigned as head coach, Davis was traded to the Porland Trail Blazers, Chris Mullin was released and later re-signed as a free agent with the Golden State Warriors, Mark Jackson signed with the Toronto Raptors, and Rik Smits retired after playing 12 years in the NBA with the Pacers.


NBA Draft[edit]

Main article: 1999 NBA Draft
Round Pick Player Position Nationality College
1 26 Vonteego Cummings PG  United States Pittsburgh



Indiana Pacers roster
Players Coaches
Pos. No. Name Height Weight DOB (YYYY–MM–DD) From
F 24 United States Bender, Jonathan 6 ft 11 in (2.11 m) 202 lb (92 kg) Picayune Memorial HS (MS)
G 4 United States Best, Travis 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m) 182 lb (83 kg) Georgia Tech
F 44 United States Croshere, Austin 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) 235 lb (107 kg) Providence
F/C 32 United States Davis, Dale 6 ft 11 in (2.11 m) 230 lb (104 kg) Clemson
F/C 10 United States Foster, Jeff 6 ft 11 in (2.11 m) 236 lb (107 kg) Texas State
F 3 United States Harrington, Al 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) 230 lb (104 kg) St. Patrick HS (NJ)
G 13 United States Jackson, Mark 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) 180 lb (82 kg) St. John's
F 9 United States McKey, Derrick 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) 205 lb (93 kg) Alabama
G/F 31 United States Miller, Reggie 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) 185 lb (84 kg) UCLA
G/F 17 United States Mullin, Chris 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) 200 lb (91 kg) St. John's
F/C 14 United States Perkins, Sam 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) 235 lb (107 kg) North Carolina
G/F 5 United States Rose, Jalen 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m) 210 lb (95 kg) Michigan
C 45 Netherlands Smits, Rik 7 ft 4 in (2.24 m) 250 lb (113 kg) Marist
C 55 Croatia Tabak, Žan 7 ft 0 in (2.13 m) 245 lb (111 kg) Croatia
Head coach
Assistant coach(es)

  • (C) Team captain
  • (DP) Unsigned draft pick
  • (FA) Free agent
  • (S) Suspended
  • Injured Injured

Last transaction: 1999-10-31

Depth chart[edit]

Pos. Starter Bench Reserve Inactive
C Rik Smits Sam Perkins Žan Tabak Jeff Foster
PF Dale Davis Austin Croshere Jonathan Bender Al Harrington
SF Jalen Rose Derrick McKey
SG Reggie Miller Chris Mullin\
PG Mark Jackson Travis Best

Regular season[edit]

The Pacers began a new era by moving into Conseco Fieldhouse after 25 years at Market Square Arena. They would start the season with a 7-7 record but finished with a 56-26 record, good enough to win their 2nd straight division title. The Pacers even won 25 straight games at their new arena.[3]


Central Division W L PCT GB Home Road Div
y-Indiana Pacers 56 26 .683 36–5 20–21 20–8
x-Charlotte Hornets 49 33 .598 7 30–11 19–22 20–8
x-Toronto Raptors 45 37 .549 11 26–15 19–22 16–12
x-Detroit Pistons 42 40 .512 14 27–14 15–26 16–12
x-Milwaukee Bucks 42 40 .512 14 23–18 19–22 16–12
Cleveland Cavaliers 32 50 .390 24 22–19 10–31 8–20
Atlanta Hawks 28 54 .341 28 21–20 7–34 11–17
Chicago Bulls 17 65 .207 39 12–29 5–36 5–23
# Eastern Conference
1 c-Indiana Pacers 56 26 .683
2 y-Miami Heat 52 30 .634 4
3 x-New York Knicks 50 32 .610 6
4 x-Charlotte Hornets 49 33 .598 7
5 x-Philadelphia 76ers 49 33 .598 7
6 x-Toronto Raptors 45 37 .549 11
7 x-Detroit Pistons 42 40 .512 14
8 x-Milwaukee Bucks 42 40 .512 14
9 Orlando Magic 41 41 .500 15
10 Boston Celtics 35 47 .427 21
11 Cleveland Cavaliers 32 50 .390 24
12 New Jersey Nets 31 51 .378 25
13 Washington Wizards 29 53 .354 27
14 Atlanta Hawks 28 54 .341 28
15 Chicago Bulls 17 65 .207 39
z – clinched division title
y – clinched division title
x – clinched playoff spot



In the first round of the playoffs, the top-seeded Pacers went to five games against the Milwaukee Bucks. In the second round, the Pacers would beat the Philadelphia 76ers in 6 games. This would lead to a rematch with the New York Knicks in the Eastern Conference Finals. The Pacers took Game 5 at home to take a 3-2 series lead. The Pacers would clinch the series in 6 games as Reggie Miller scored 34 points. The Pacers reached the NBA Finals but found themselves outmatched by a Los Angeles Lakers team that had Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal. The Lakers won the NBA Finals in 6 games. Following the season, Head Coach Larry Bird would step down, citing the daily grind of coaching.[3]

East First Round[edit]

(1) Indiana Pacers vs. (8) Milwaukee Bucks Last Playoff Meeting: 1999 Eastern Conference First Round (Indiana won 3-0)

April 23
Milwaukee Bucks 85, Indiana Pacers 88
April 27
Milwaukee Bucks 104, Indiana Pacers 91
April 29
Indiana Pacers 109, Milwaukee Bucks 96
May 1
Indiana Pacers 87, Milwaukee Bucks 100
May 4
Milwaukee Bucks 95, Indiana Pacers 96
Indiana wins series, 3-2

East Semifinals[edit]

(1) Indiana Pacers vs. (5) Philadelphia 76ers Last Playoff Meeting: 1999 Eastern Conference Semifinals (Indiana won 4-0)

May 6
Philadelphia 76ers 91, Indiana Pacers 108
May 8
Philadelphia 76ers 97, Indiana Pacers 103
May 10
Indiana Pacers 97, Philadelphia 76ers 89
May 13
Indiana Pacers 90, Philadelphia 76ers 92
May 15
Philadelphia 76ers 107, Indiana Pacers 86
May 19
Indiana Pacers 106, Philadelphia 76ers 90
Indiana wins series, 4-2

Eastern Conference Finals[edit]

(1) Indiana Pacers vs. (3) New York Knicks Last Playoff Meeting: 1999 Eastern Conference Finals (New York won 4-2)

May 23
New York Knicks 88, Indiana Pacers 102
May 25
New York Knicks 84, Indiana Pacers 88
May 27
Indiana Pacers 95, New York Knicks 98
May 29
Indiana Pacers 89, New York Knicks 91
May 31
New York Knicks 79, Indiana Pacers 88
June 2
Indiana Pacers 93, New York Knicks 80
Indiana wins series, 4-2

NBA Finals[edit]

  • Lakers' backup center John Salley became the first player in NBA history to play on three different championship-winning franchises, as he won titles in 1989 and '90 with the Detroit Pistons and 1996 with the Chicago Bulls.
  • This was the Lakers first NBA Finals in the new Staples Center.
  • After closing out game 6, fans rioted outside Staples Center by making bonfires, tipping cars, breaking windows of cars and buildings, and vandalizing businesses around the area. Overall, they caused $1 million in damages. In Lakers' championship run the following year, the LAPD came out in bigger force after the Lakers won and prevented the same thing from happening again.
  • Staples Center, which was a first-year building in 2000, had a very tricky shooting background and opposing teams often had difficulty shooting there. Pacers coach Larry Bird wanted to have a shoot-around in the arena the day before Game 6 to help his team shoot more consistently because they shot very poorly in Games 1 and 2. However, the Pacers couldn't practice in the building because of an Arena Football game. Bird was very upset about this, and his team had to go down to the Lakers practice facility in El Segundo.
  • The two arenas in this series, Conseco Fieldhouse and Staples Center, were both first-year arenas.


The following scoring summary is written in a line score format, except that the quarter numbers are replaced by game numbers.

Team Game 1 Game 2 Game 3 Game 4* Game 5 Game 6 Wins
Los Angeles (West) 104 111 91 120 87 116 4
Indiana (East) 87 104 100 118 120 111 2



The Finals were played using a 2–3–2 site format, where the team with home court advantage would receive the first two games and the last two games at home. The NBA, after experimenting in the early years, restored this original format for the Finals in 1985. So far, the other playoff series are still running on a 2–2–1–1–1 site format.

This was the second time a Finals game was played on a Monday night since the NBA switched to the Wednesday-Friday-Sunday rotation in 1991. In the previous five series ('92–'94, '96, '98) that needed a Game 6, the game was played on a Sunday. In this series, however, the NBA chose to play the game the Monday night after Father's Day. The previous Finals game played on a Monday night was Game 3 in 1999.

Game 1[edit]

Sunday, June 7, 2000, 9:00 at the Staples Center.

With smouldering defense the Lakers defeated the Pacers by clamping down on every but Reggie Miller and Jalen Rose

The Lakers dominated from the start. The Lakers shot 15-for-20 (75%) in the first period while the Pacers shot only 7-for-20 (35%). Miller would miss all of his shots in the first quarter to give the Lakers a 15-point lead. Croshere came off the bench to keep the Pacers alive in the 2nd quarter, scoring 9 points and grabbing 4 rebounds in the quarter. Although the Pacers attempted a comeback in the 2nd quarter, they were still down by 12. In the 3rd quarter, it would be Jackson who led the Pacers to a comeback, cutting the Lakers lead by 2. Miller also hit his first field goal in the 3rd quarter, though it would be his last. The Lakers handled the Pacers in the final quarter, with a 13–2 run winning by 17 points. O'Neal scored 43 points and grabbed 19 rebounds.


Team 1st Qt. 2nd Qt. 3rd Qt. 4th Qt. Total
Indiana 18 22 22 16 87
Los Angeles 33 25 28 27 104

Game 2[edit]

Tuesday, June 9, 2000, 9:00 at the Staples Center.

Los Angeles and Indiana were evenly matched for the first quarter, both scoring 28. However, Los Angeles suffered a major setback when Kobe Bryant left the game in the 2nd quarter due to a sprained ankle and did not return. Jalen Rose later admitted that he intentionally stuck out his foot when Kobe shot a jumpshot in order to trip him when he landed.[6][7][8] Ron Harper went in for Bryant and scored 21 points for the game. Desperate to try to gain the lead, Larry Bird resorted to the "Hack-a-Shaq" strategy. Shaq shot 39 free throws, making only 18, an NBA record for most free throws attempted. Despite this low percentage, Shaq made 9 of 16 in the 4th quarter to keep a Lakers lead. The Pacers cut the lead to 99–96 and were looking to foul Shaq, but when Shaq got the ball he passed to Robert Horry who converted not only the layup, but the foul shot as well giving them a 102–96 lead en route to a 111–104 Lakers victory.


Team 1st Qt. 2nd Qt. 3rd Qt. 4th Qt. Total
Indiana 28 21 20 35 104
Los Angeles 28 24 21 38 111

Game 3[edit]

Thursday, June 11, 2000, 7:30 at the Conseco Fieldhouse.

Taking advantage of Kobe Bryant's ankle injury, Indiana restored a semblance of parity to the proceedings. Kobe's absence was felt as the Pacers had an 11–2 run in the first quarter to take an 8-point lead. Austin Croshere once again had another huge 2nd quarter, scoring 8 points as the Pacers shot 61% from the field. The Lakers tried to make a run to get back into the game, but upon doings so, Indiana answered with 12 straight points and led by 17. The Lakers were desperate and attempted another run to get within 3 points, but Reggie Miller nailed all his free throws at the end of the game to give Indiana a 9-point win.


Team 1st Qt. 2nd Qt. 3rd Qt. 4th Qt. Total
Los Angeles 15 27 22 25 91
Indiana 23 30 26 21 100

Game 4[edit]

Wednesday, June 14, 2000, 9:00 at the Conseco Fieldhouse.

The Pacers took a quick 9–2 lead due to Rik Smits hitting his first four shots. Kobe Bryant attempted to play with his sore ankle but only managed to score 6 points in the first half. Even though Bryant and O'Neal were in foul trouble in the first half (each picking up his third with 5 minutes remaining in the second quarter), Indiana could not take advantage and did not extend their lead. This would be a problem as Kobe Bryant scored 10 points and the Lakers took a 62–60 lead due to a Glen Rice three-pointer. The game remained close going into the fourth quarter, when O'Neal and Reggie Miller scored 14 and 13 points respectively, sending the game into overtime. Midway through overtime, O'Neal committed his sixth foul but 21-year-old Bryant delivered three clutch shots, as the Lakers were able to overcome back-up center John Salley's inability to effectively defend Smits. Smits and Miller scored all 14 of Indiana's OT points, but it was not enough to overcome as Miller missed a last-second three-pointer, and L.A. was able to pull one out in Indianapolis.


Team 1st Qt. 2nd Qt. 3rd Qt. 4th Qt. OT Total
Los Angeles 23 28 29 24 16 120
Indiana 33 21 23 27 14 118

Game 5[edit]

Sunday, June 16, 2000, 9:00 at the Conseco Fieldhouse.

Reggie Miller and the Pacers dominated the game from the start in what would be Larry Bird's last game as a coach in the state of Indiana. Reggie Miller came out and made 5 straight shots including a 4-point play. The Pacers hit their first 6 three point shots in the game. The Pacers would have a 20-point lead in the 2nd quarter, and eventually won by 33 – it was the worst Lakers NBA Finals loss since the 148–114 loss to Boston in the 1985 NBA Finals, known as the "Memorial Day Massacre."

With their loss in Game 5, the Lakers record in close-out games dropped to 3–6 in the 2000 NBA Playoffs (the other losses coming in Games 3 and 4 in the first round against Sacramento, Game 4 in the series against Phoenix, and Games 5 and 6 versus Portland). As a result, the series returned to California.


Team 1st Qt. 2nd Qt. 3rd Qt. 4th Qt. Total
Los Angeles 28 17 22 20 87
Indiana 39 25 22 34 120

Game 6[edit]

Monday, June 19, 2000, 9:00 at the Staples Center.

After the two teams traded blows in the first quarter, Mark Jackson concluded the period with a turn-around half-court shot at the buzzer to give the Pacers a 26–24 advantage. They would not relinquish their lead until the fourth quarter. In the first half, the Pacers would lead by as many as twelve points. However, the Lakers chipped away and entered intermission trailing 56–53. Indiana, however, added two more points to their lead, and entered the final period in a position to force a decisive seventh game.

In the fourth quarter, the momentum shifted. The Lakers got four timely three-pointers from Derek Fisher, Robert Horry, and Rick Fox. The turning point occurred on a play where Brian Shaw stole the ball from Jalen Rose, leading to a fast break where Shaquille O'Neal hit an off-balance shot to give the Lakers the lead. The Pacers never led after that point.

The Lakers would build a seven-point lead, but the Pacers fought back to tie the score at 103. After a timeout, the Lakers scored six unanswered points to regain control. The Pacers made one final valiant effort, but it fell short and the Lakers clinched their first championship in twelve years. Shaquille O'Neal led all scorers with 41 points and also pulled down 12 rebounds. He was awarded the Finals MVP.[9]


Team 1st Qt. 2nd Qt. 3rd Qt. 4th Qt. Total
Indiana 26 30 28 27 111
Los Angeles 24 29 26 37 116

Awards, records, and honors[edit]


  1. ^ 1999–2000 Indiana Pacers
  2. ^ http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/basketball/nba/1999/draft/draftboard/nba_teams/ind/
  3. ^ a b Indiana Pacers (1967-Present)
  4. ^ 1999-00 NBA Season Summary - Basketball-Reference.com
  5. ^ "2000 NBA Playoffs Summary | Basketball-Reference.com". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved 2014-12-13. 
  6. ^ Bresnahan, Mike (March 14, 2013). "Kobe Bryant sprains left ankle in Lakers loss, out indefinitely". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on March 14, 2013. 
  7. ^ Ryan, Chris (March 14, 2013). "Jalen Rose on That Time He Intentionally Tried to Injure Kobe Bryant". grantland.com. Archived from the original on March 14, 2013. 
  8. ^ Grantland, Channel. "Jalen Rose on Kobe Bryant and Karma". Retrieved 18 September 2012. 
  9. ^ Babb, Kent (2015-06-13). "That time when Shaquille O'Neal turned in the most dominant NBA Finals performance ever". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2016-01-30.