INDIANAPOLIS -- Jamaal Tinsley flashed his old form for his new coach.
Indiana's point guard looked like the playmaker who dazzled the NBA as a rookie in 2001 with his fearlessness and clutch play. He scored 16 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter and overtime, and the Pacers beat the Washington Wizards 119-110 on Wednesday night to give coach Jim O'Brien a win in his debut.
Tinsley, who also had nine rebounds and eight assists, has said he felt shackled for years in Rick Carlisle's structured system. O'Brien's up-tempo style has set Tinsley free, and the Wizards became the first of many teams that might pay the price.
"Any time when you've got the ball in your hands and you can create for yourself and others, I'm the type of person that can break my man down at any time," Tinsley said. "It fits my game."
Gilbert Arenas, who led Washington with 34 points, said the Pacers have changed dramatically.
"All you need to do is just let them go," he said. "They don't look like robots this year. They look like a totally different team."
Tinsley scored with 3:34 left in overtime to give Indiana a 108-106 lead. Jamison tried to answer, but David Harrison slammed his shot against the backboard with both hands. Dunleavy made a 3-pointer at the other end to give Indiana a 111-106 lead with 2:41 remaining.
Arenas made two free throws with 1:37 to go to cut Indiana's lead to 111-108, but that was as close as the Wizards would get. A 3-pointer by Granger with 43 seconds left made it 116-108.
In regulation, Marquis Daniels made a 3-pointer with 1:10 left to give Indiana a 101-96 lead, but Jamison answered with a 3-pointer while falling to the ground to make it 101-99.
After Daniels missed a shot, the Wizards worked the clock and got the ball to Arenas. He drove to the hoop and missed. A foul was called against Indiana on the offensive rebound, and Butler made the second of two free throws to cut Indiana's lead to 101-100 with 8.9 seconds to go.
Tinsley made two free throws with 6.8 seconds left to make it 103-100 before Washington worked for a final shot.
Arenas, who had missed his first six 3-point tries, stuck one from the top of the key to force overtime.
"I never doubt myself," he said. "I did it again, but it wasn't enough to bring us to victory."
Dunleavy said the Pacers never lost confidence, even after Arenas' shot.
"I think a lot of teams could have allowed that to be demoralizing," Dunleavy said, "but we hung in there. That's going to be the way we are this year. We have a tough mind-set. We may not be the most talented bunch or the sexiest bunch, but we're going to hang in there and play tough."
Washington made 32 of 45 free throws, while the Pacers were 30-of-36.
"That didn't help," Washington coach Eddie Jordan said. "You just have to keep climbing uphill. We were winning the rebounding battle, we just shot badly all night."
It was Arenas' first regular-season game since April 4. He missed the final eight and the playoffs last season with a torn lateral meniscus in his left knee.
It also marked a return for Butler, who missed the final 10 regular-season games and the playoffs last season with a broken right hand.
They hoped for better in their first game back, but they kept the loss in perspective.
"Everyone came out and played hard," Arenas said. "It's not the end of the world. They're a good ballclub."
- O'Brien said he expects O'Neal to return Friday against Miami.
- Pacers F Ike Diogu made his third career start for Indiana in place of O'Neal. He was traded to the Pacers in the middle of last season.
- O'Neal missed 13 games last season with various injuries and illnesses. He missed 82 games the previous three seasons to injuries, illnesses and suspensions.
- Pacers F Shawne Williams served the first game of a team-imposed three-game suspension after being caught driving without a license.
- O'Neal presented O'Brien with the game ball.