Sunday , Apr , 09 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Detroit routs slumping Indiana

Auburn Hills, MI (Sports Network) – Tayshaun Prince netted 17 points to lead
a balanced Detroit attack as the Pistons routed Indiana, 98-73, at The Palace
of Auburn Hills.

“All of our guys, we sense what’s coming,” said Detroit coach Flip Saunders.
“We know what’s going to come here in two weeks, and you have to have an edge.
You have to not only have an edge, but from an individual standpoint you want
your game and the things you do to be at top form.”

Lindsey Hunter added a season-high 14 points and dished off five assists for
the Pistons, who won for the seventh time in their past eight contests and
have already clinched the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference playoff race.
Ben Wallace contributed just four points but pulled down a season-high 22
rebounds while Richard Hamilton had 12 points in the win.

“They came out playing pretty hard,” said Hunter. “You have to give our guys a
lot of credit. We came out and we put the team away and a lot of times we
don’t do that. I think with both units, the first unit played well and then
the second unit came in and played extremely well. Got ’em down and kept them
down.”

Stephen Jackson tallied 15 points for the Pacers, who lost for the seventh
time in their past eight contests. Indiana remains in the No. 7 position in
the Eastern Conference playoff standings, just one game ahead of Chicago and
Philadelphia.

“I haven’t got any answers – I’m out there busting my (butt),” said Jackson.
“My guy was 4-for-12 or 5-for-12. Everyone on this team needs to be
accountable for the actions – the players and the coaches. We’ve got to do
this together.”

After a solid second quarter, Detroit ran away with the game in the third
frame. The Pistons came out of the locker room and scored 15 of the quarter’s
first 19 points to take firm control of the contest. Billups capped the run
with a three 6 1/2 minutes into the stanza to make the score 60-39.

Detroit continued to hold the Pacers at arm’s length the rest of the quarter
and took a 72-52 lead into the final frame.

The Pacers were unable to make any kind of run in the fourth quarter and the
Pistons continued to pour it on.

Carlos Delfino’s layup with under five minutes remaining put the Pistons up by
thirty, 92-62.

Then, Kelvin Cato’s lay-in with 2:17 left in the contest gave Detroit its
largest lead of the game, 98-64, as the Pistons cruised towards the finish
line.

“Detroit played great,” said Indiana coach Rick Carlisle. “They really hurt us
on the boards. We didn’t play a good game and they had a lot to do with it.”

The Pacers took a slim 20-19 advantage after the first 12 minutes but the
Pistons settled down and used an excellent second quarter to take a 45-35 edge
into intermission.

Game Notes

This was the fourth and final meeting of the season between these rivals. The
teams split a pair in Indianapolis, while the Pistons defeated the
Pacers, 88-83, on February 23rd in Detroit…Detroit is a league-best 35-3 at
home this season…The Pacers are just 13-26 as the visitor this season and
have dropped eight in a row on the road.

DET IND