Thursday , Feb , 23 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Pacers, Pistons renew rivalry

(Sports Network) – The Detroit Pistons try for their third straight win this
evening when they conclude a three-game homestand against the Indiana Pacers
at The Palace of Auburn Hills.

The Pistons got the second half of their season off on a winning note on
Tuesday, as Richard Hamilton sprang for 24 points to help Detroit get past the
Atlanta Hawks, 97-87.

Rasheed Wallace had 21 points and 12 rebounds and Chauncey Billups also posted
a double-double with 19 points and 15 assists for the Pistons, who have won
four of their last five overall.

Ben Wallace added nine points and 17 boards in the win.

Detroit, which will visit Chicago on Friday, has won 10 in a row at home and
is an astounding 24-2 in its arena this season. The Pistons last tasted defeat
in the Motor City back on January 7 against Utah.

The Pacers, meanwhile, came out of their break on fire, as rookie Danny
Granger netted a career-high 22 points off the bench to lift Indiana past the
New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets, 97-75, at Conseco Fieldhouse.

Anthony Johnson added 19 points and Peja Stojakovic chipped in 16 points and
nine rebounds for the Pacers, who have won six of their last seven games.

Johnson, playing in place of an injured Jamaal Tinsley, has scored at least 19
points in three of the past four games and he’s had at least five assists in
six of the past seven games.

Tinsley is expected to miss his 10th straight game tonight with an elbow
injury, while forward Austin Croshere will likely remain sidelined with a
concussion.

Over their last two games, the Pacers have held the opposition to an average
of 76 points and a combined 35.5 percent from the floor while outrebounding
them 101-78. They have also kept their opponents below 40 percent from the
field in five of the last seven games.

Indiana, which hosts Atlanta on Friday, plays eight of its next 10 on the road
and is 9-15 away from home this season.

The Pacers defeated the Pistons earlier in the season and has won seven of 10
and eight of the last 12 meetings. Indiana has also won two straight and four
of its last five in Detroit.

Utah is the only team to defeat the Pistons twice this season.

DET IND