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Author Topic: Detroit 98, Indiana 92  (Read 997 times)
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« on: December 30, 2007, 01:31:01 am »

Tougher game, same result.

Following a comfortable victory over Indiana on Friday, the Pistons had to work harder against the Pacers on Saturday before extending their winning streak to eight with a 98-92 victory

"They came out tough, and we didn't play quite like we did (Friday)," said Pistons guard Richard Hamilton, who scored 10 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter. "It was a really tough game all around."

Chauncey Billups had 17 points, reserve Jason Maxiell scored 12 and Rasheed Wallace finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds to help Detroit (23-7) complete the home-and-home sweep over the Pacers.

"It's not that odd to play a team back-to-back, you get that every once in a while in this league," Wallace said. "You still have to go out there and hoop."

Jermaine O'Neal, who led the Pacers (15-16) with 20 points and 11 rebounds, said playing Detroit two straight nights is a difficult task. The Pistons won 114-101 on Friday.

"That's probably the most difficult back-to-back you're going to see during the season," he said. "You don't get very many opportunities to take advantage of that team."

Trailing by six points entering the fourth quarter, the Pacers got within 86-85 following Danny Granger's 3-pointer with 5:43 left. After the teams traded baskets over the next few minutes, Detroit used a 6-0 run to open a 96-89 lead on Hamilton's 3-pointer with 45 seconds remaining.

Mike Dunleavy's 3-pointer cut the deficit to 96-92, but the Pacers couldn't get any closer.

"They made a few more plays down the stretch, but we had our opportunities," said Granger, who finished with 15 points. "We put ourselves in position to win the game, which is what you always want to do."

Billups wasn't surprised by his team's ability to hang on at the end.

"We got everything we wanted in terms of plays down the stretch," he said. "We came together when it really counted."

In a first half that featured nine ties and six lead changes, the Pistons took a 44-40 advantage on Maxiell's two free throws. Indiana opened a 50-48 lead late in the second quarter, but Detroit scored the next four points and took a 52-51 edge into the break.

The Pistons began the third quarter with Antonio McDyess' jumper and Wallace's 3-pointer to go ahead by six. Indiana answered with an 11-2 run to take a 62-59 lead.

Detroit took its biggest advantage of the third quarter, 74-67, following Rodney Stuckey's 3-pointer with 1:32 left.

O'Neal didn't take any solace in keeping the game close.

"There's no such thing as having a moral victory," he said. "They just look at wins and losses in this league."


Pacers G Jamaal Tinsley (hamstring) and C David Harrison (sore back) did not play. ... Detroit has won four straight over the Pacers and 10 of the past 15 games. ... Detroit's last loss came Dec. 12 at Houston. ... The Pistons improved to 14-2 in December. ... The Pacers' losing streak is their longest since dropping six in a row from Nov. 7-16.
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