Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 4)

Series starts 11/23

Game 1: Saturday, November 23rd
Game 2: Saturday, January 18th
Game 3: Monday, January 20th
Game 4: Friday, April 4th

Pistons 106

(11-3, 5-3 away)

Pacers 91

(10-2, 7-1 home)

    7:00 PM ET, November 23, 2002

    Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN

    1 2 3 4 T
    DET 19 32 26 29106
    IND 23 28 21 1991

    Top Performers

    Det: R. Hamilton 22 Pts, 4 Reb, 5 Ast

    Ind: B. Miller 24 Pts, 11 Reb, 5 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

    Pistons hold off Pacers down the stretch

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- The NBA's best defensive team can play some offense, too.

    Richard Hamilton

    Richard Hamilton had 22 points and five teammates scored in double figures as the Detroit Pistons pulled away in the second half and beat Indiana 106-91 Saturday night, snapping the Pacers' winning streak at nine games.

    "The guys did a good job setting screens,'' Hamilton said. "I just wanted to come out and move around a lot, come off some screens, set some screens and try not to get into a physical game with them.''

    It was only the second time this season that the Pistons, who lead the league in scoring defense at 79.6 points a game, topped 100 points. They did it with a scoring flurry that erased a 10-point Indiana lead in the first half, then added another burst in the closing minutes after the Pacers threatened a big comeback of their own.

    The Pistons shot an even 50 percent from the field, the first time this season the Pacers have allowed an opponent to make half its shots.

    "That's as good as we've played offensively all year,'' said Jon Barry, who came off the bench to score a season-high 19 points. "We took it strong to the basket. And we got to the free throw line and made our free throws.

    "What it comes down to is, we made some stops and got them into a little bit of a rush,'' he said.

    Barry had a basket and two free throws during a 10-0 run that pushed Detroit's lead to 99-83 with under four minutes to go. The Pacers never came closer than 13 after that.

    Corliss Williamson also had 19 off the bench for the Pistons, while Chucky Atkins and Zeljko Rebraca added 15 each and Clifford Robinson 12.

    "They got it out in transition so early and so often in the first quarter, we had to figure out a way to slow them down,'' Pistons coach Rick Carlisle said. "Part of it was to execute a little better on offense and put the ball in the hole. The other part was to make sure we had two or three guys sprinting back every time.''

    Brad Miller led Indiana with 24 points, while Ron Artest added 14 points, Jermaine O'Neal had 12 points and 14 rebounds and Jamaal Tinsley had 12 points and a season-high 14 assists.

    "For the most part, we weren't able to shoot the ball well,'' O'Neal said. "They were able to stay home (near the basket). We didn't make the defense work as hard as we usually do.

    "Brad did a great job, but tonight I may have been the missing link to keeping the defense honest,'' said O'Neal, who shot just 6-of-16.

    Miller scored the final seven points of the first quarter, and baskets by Ron Mercer, Austin Croshere and Jonathan Bender at the start of the second period completed a 13-0 run for a 29-19 lead -- Indiana's biggest of the game.

    Barry led Detroit's comeback in the second quarter, shooting 6-for-7 for 13 points in the period. A fast-break basket by Atkins gave Detroit a 46-45 lead.

    A 10-0 Indiana run in the third quarter put the Pacers up 63-57, but three straight baskets by Rebraca helped bring Detroit within two. A basket by Atkins tied the game at 69, then a minute later a basket by Hamilton put the Pistons in front for good.

    "I thought their collective will and toughness was better than ours,'' Pacers coach Isiah Thomas said.

    "It was a nice run,'' he said of Indiana's long streak. "We played good basketball in that streak, but you just pick up and go win the next game.

    Game notes

    Ben Wallace, the league leader in rebounds at 15 a game and tied for second in blocked shots with 3.15 per game, had 11 boards and three blocks. ... The Pacers matched their season low with 13 turnovers. ... The Pistons have won five of the past eight games at Indiana, including both of their visits to Conseco Fieldhouse last season. ... The Pacers had won 10 straight at home since a loss to Cleveland last April. ... Detroit's 11-3 start is its best since it opened the 1996-97 season at 16-3.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 106 91
    FGM-FGA 40-80 (.500) 39-80 (.488)
    3PM-3PA 3-8 (.375) 0-3 (.000)
    FTM-FTA 23-26 (.885) 13-24 (.542)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 8-40 9-39
    Assists 22 28
    Turnovers 10 13
    Steals 9 4
    Blocks 7 6
    Fast Break Points 7 8
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 23 (2/0) 24 (2/0)

    Top Performers

    Richard Hamilton Hamilton
    Points: 22
    Reb: 4
    Ast: 5
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0
    Brad Miller Miller
    Points: 24
    Reb: 11
    Ast: 5
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 1