NBA Game Summary - Detroit at Indiana
(Friday, March 24th)
Final Score: Detroit 75, Indiana 72
Indianapolis, IN (Sports Network) - Richard Hamilton scored 15 points and Detroit withstood a late surge from Indiana to record a 75-72 victory at Conseco Fieldhouse.
Tayshaun Prince and Antonio McDyess each added 11 points to help the Pistons to their fourth consecutive win.
Indiana All-Star Jermaine O'Neal had eight points and seven rebounds in 16 minutes in his second game back from a torn groin muscle which caused him to miss two months.
"To get to our ultimate goal, I've got to pick up my play," O'Neal said. "It's frustrating because we were right there and I couldn't come through for my team."
David Harrison topped the Pacers, who fell for the third time in four games, with 14 points. Stephen Jackson finished with 13 in the loss.
Detroit trailed 26-19 three minutes into the second quarter before breaking open the game with a 17-1 run.
Lindsey Hunter ignited the surge with a three-pointer and added another triple later on which put the Pistons up 32-27. Chauncey Billups followed with a trey before McDyess made 1-of-2 free throws with 4:30 left in the half to extend the margin to nine.
A Jackson three-pointer in the closing seconds of the half brought Indiana within 42-36 at intermission, and the Pacers opened the third quarter with six straight points to draw even. However, Detroit would own the rest of the period.
Up 46-44 midway through the quarter, Hamilton had back-to-back baskets to spark a 14-3 run that ended with Prince's three-pointer with 22 seconds left in the frame which gave the Pistons a comfortable 60-47 lead.
Rasheed Wallace's jumper with 4:48 to play put Detroit up 74-66, but turned out to be the Pistons' last field goal of the night.
While Detroit continued to miss shots, the Pacers crept closer and closed the gap to 74-72 after Jamaal Tinsley buried two foul shots with 27 seconds left.
The Pistons were forced to shoot before time expired and O'Neal blocked Billups' three-point attempt in the final seconds. However, Indiana's Danny Granger was whistled for a loose ball foul on Ben Wallace, who made 1-of-2 from the line to make it a three-point contest.
Ben Wallace then rejected Granger's three-point try at the buzzer to preserve the win.
"Ben usually makes big free throws down the stretch and when he misses, it motivates him to play harder defensively," said Pistons head coach Flip Saunders.
Detroit shot just 38.8 percent for the game...The Pistons improved to 37-0 when holding opponents to fewer than 90 points this season...Billups had just eight points on 3-of-10 shooting but delivered nine assists...Detroit went 9- of-26 from three-point range, while the Pacers made just 3-of-13 shots from beyond the arc.
03/24 23:56:35 ET