Harrington is X-factor for Pacers

Updated: May 24, 2004, 11:12 AM ET
By By Terry Brown | NBA Insider
Al Harrington didn't score the most points for the Indiana Pacers in the first game of the Eastern Conference Finals.

He didn't hit the game winning shot, either.

But he did register 14 points on 6-for-12 shooting in the Pacers' 78-74 win. If the Detroit Pistons have anything to do with it, he'll pay for each and every one of them in the second game tonight.

As the 2004 NBA playoffs enter their sixth week and simple defensive switches turn into matchup changes, which result in full blown philosophical adjustments, there are four teams left and the winner may ultimately be determined by the team able to get points from its fourth or fifth option.

For the Pacers, that's Harrington and the Pistons know it.