Regular Season Series (Game 3 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

Pacers 78

(29-12, 11-11 away)

Pistons 88

(27-13, 15-4 home)

    3:00 PM ET, January 20, 2003

    The Palace of Auburn Hills, Detroit, MI

    1 2 3 4 T
    IND 25 19 18 1678
    DET 21 16 25 2688

    Top Performers

    Ind: R. Miller 28 Pts, 4 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl

    Det: B. Wallace 14 Pts, 15 Reb, 1 Ast, 3 Stl, 5 Blk

    Wallace keys late surge to spark Pistons to win

    AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) -- Ben Wallace got just what he wanted, a clear-cut win.

    Ben Wallace

    Wallace scored a season-high 14 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, and the Detroit Pistons used a late surge to beat the Indiana Pacers 88-78 Monday.

    Two days earlier, Indiana beat the Pistons at home on Jermaine O'Neal's disputed shot in the final second.

    It took the officials nearly 20 minutes to decide whether the basket was good. Instant replays appeared to show that O'Neal had the ball in his hand with no time on the shot clock, but with about four-tenths of a second on the game clock.

    Since the Pacers inbounded the ball with 24.1 seconds left in the game, the officials determined by video replay that 24 seconds had not expired from the game clock.

    "There was some controversy at the end of the last game and deep down inside we realized that we didn't take control of the game the way we should have,'' Wallace said. "We wanted to take the control of the game to not let it come down to a last-second shot.''

    After trailing much of the game, Detroit went on a 9-0 run to take an 82-73 lead with 1:29 left.

    "Maybe more than any other time this season, our guys really showed character and emotional strength,'' said Detroit coach Rick Carlisle, who wants the NBA to add tenths of seconds to the shot clock.

    The Pistons pulled within 1½ games of the Central Division-leading Pacers, who had won six of seven. Detroit has won seven of 10.

    Indiana made just 29.7 percent of its shots in the second half.

    "We forced them to take quick, tough shots with hands in their faces,'' Wallace said. "That allowed us to get out on the break.''

    Detroit's Richard Hamilton scored 18, Cliff Robinson had 15, and Chauncey Billups added 10. Wallace made 7 of 9 shots.

    Indiana's Reggie Miller scored 28 points and became the 18th NBA player to score 23,000 points. Ron Artest scored 14 points on 4-of-20 shooting, and O'Neal had 12 points and 11 rebounds.

    "We're the better team,'' Artest said. "They played good today, but we still beat ourselves.''

    The Pistons began their comeback with an 11-2 run to tie it at 57 late in the third. Billups made a shot from about 40 feet at the end of the third quarter as time expired to tie it at 62. The crowd cheered when it was announced that the shot was reviewed, by rule.

    Detroit tied it three more times before Mehmet Okur's turnaround jumper put the Pistons ahead -- for the first time since the opening minutes -- 72-70 with 6:04 left.

    After the Pacers tied it at 73, Jon Barry's 3-pointer, Chucky Atkins' basket and two Wallace dunks put the Pistons up by nine.

    "I thought it was a hard-fought game,'' Indiana coach Isiah Thomas said. "Two teams were defending and it was just a matter of which team got a spurt. I thought Detroit got a spurt with Barry hitting a big 3-pointer for them and that gave them some momentum.''

    Indiana led 44-37 at halftime and lost for just the second time in 22 games when leading at the half.

    Game notes

    Detroit leads the season series 2-1 against Indiana, which will travel to The Palace for the final meeting on April 4. ... Detroit made just 42.2 percent of its shots, but held Indiana to 40.5 percent. ... Billups' free-throw shooting streak ended at 29 straight in the second quarter.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 78 88
    FGM-FGA 30-74 (.405) 35-83 (.422)
    3PM-3PA 5-15 (.333) 7-19 (.368)
    FTM-FTA 13-19 (.684) 11-14 (.786)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 10-44 14-46
    Assists 22 25
    Turnovers 16 14
    Steals 5 9
    Blocks 3 11
    Fast Break Points 3 4
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 21 (1/0) 19 (1/0)

    Top Performers

    Reggie Miller Miller
    Points: 28
    Reb: 4
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0
    Ben Wallace Wallace
    Points: 14
    Reb: 15
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 3
    Blk: 5