Indiana’s bench steps up to stun Detroit
Indianapolis, IN (Sports Network) – Stephen Jackson scored 20 points and
Indiana’s bench took control in the second half, as the short-handed Pacers
stunned Detroit, 93-85, at Conseco Fieldhouse.
No one could blame the Pacers if they lost Saturday night, as the club played
the 39-6 Pistons without guard Jamaal Tinsley (elbow), forward Austin Croshere
(concussion) and star forward Jermaine O’Neal, who continues to miss time with
a left groin tear.
Also, forward Jonathan Bender announced Saturday that he could no longer
continue his basketball career because of a chronic knee ailment.
However, the no-name Pacers played team basketball, normally Detroit’s forte,
to post their second consecutive victory.
David Harrison scored 15 points, Fred Jones added 13 and Danny Granger
contributed 11 — all off the bench — for the Pacers, who assisted on 25 of
38 made baskets.
Richard Hamilton scored a game-high 31 points and Rasheed Wallace added 17
points and seven rebounds, as the Pistons are 2-2 in their last four games
after losing just five of their first 42 contests.
Tayshaun Prince tallied 13 points and Chauncey Billups was held to 10 points
and just three assists in the loss.
After an evenly-played first half that ended with Indiana holding a 51-50
lead, the Pacers used an 11-2 burst at the end of the third period to grab a
double-digit lead. All three vital bench players got involved, with Granger
scoring the first six points of the run. After a Harrison dunk, Sarunas
Jasikevicius drained a jumper to put the Pacers ahead 74-62.
Detroit quickly got within four, 76-72, in the early stages of the fourth
stanza. Wallace drained three straight free throws and his jumper with 9:24
left gave the Pistons all the momentum.
That’s when Jones took over.
The guard went on his own 6-0 spurt that restored order at Conseco Fieldhouse
and increased the lead back to nine, 82-73, with 6:43 left.
The Pistons got within five on several occasions late in the game, but got no
Indiana shot 38.8 percent from the floor, but outrebounded Detroit
59-44…This was the first meeting of the season between the two squads that
met in last season’s Eastern Conference Finals. Detroit won that series
4-2…Scot Pollard had six points and 14 rebounds in the victory…Jeff Foster
had eight points and 12 boards in the win…Ben Wallace pulled down 12 boards,
but did not score in the loss…Indiana improved to 14-7 at home…Detroit
fell to 18-5 on the road.