Pistons Pound Pacers


Jerry Stackhouse is making himself right at home in Detroit' starting lineup.

Stackhouse, who has started 12 times this season after coming off the bench in all but nine games last season, scored 26 points to lead Detroit to a 107-99 victory over Indiana on Thursday night.

Stackhouse, averaging 23.2 points, has topped the 20-point mark nine times this season.

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  • Stackhouse got plenty of help, with Grant Hill scoring 22 points and all five Detroit starters finishing in double figures.

    "We made plays and we made defensive stops when we had to," said Stackhouse, who helped the Pistons rally from a 12-point deficit in the second half for their fourth consecutive victory.

    "It's been a long road. I'm glad there's some light at the end of the tunnel because it's been a little tough and now I'm back in the starting lineup and feeling as comfortable as I've been since I've been in the league."

    Rik Smits had a season-high 23 points for Indiana, and Dale Davis added 21. Reggie Miller scored seven points, shooting only 2-for-11 from the field. He's 30-for-90 in his last seven games.

    "We're playing well for three quarters. The last two games the fourth quarter has really been a nemesis of ours," Miller said. "Whenever you have a team down, you've got to put them away. For some reason we're not doing that."

    After recording their best NBA start ever by winning five of their first seven games, the defending Central Division champions have dropped four of five.

    "We're giving teams life, energy. They're able to sustain it and we're not," Miller said.

    Detroit put together a 12-2 run to start the fourth quarter to take the lead for good. Stackhouse ignited the spurt with two free throws and jumper, while Terry Mills and Lindsey Hunter had consecutive 3-pointers.

    "They did a good job of spreading the floor. They utilized their 3-point shot to get back in the game. They did a good job of running and getting second shots, especially in the fourth quarter," Miller said.

    Indiana was outrebounded 12-4 off the offensive glass and 46-34 overall, and Detroit had a 19-9 advantage on second-chance points.

    Free throws were crucial to the outcome as Detroit outscored Indiana 29-10 from the line. Christian Laettner, who had 19 points, hit 11 of 13 attempts, and Stackhouse made 10-of-12.

    Hill got into foul trouble in the third quarter, picking up his third personal with 10:29 remaining in the period. He sat for the rest of the quarter after being whistled for his fourth foul 34 seconds later.

    Indiana opened its biggest lead of the night with Hill on the bench as the Pacers took a 70-58 with 7:01 left in the quarter on a 3-pointer by Mark Jackson.

    "When he got in foul trouble the offense ran through me a lot more and I was able to get some match-up that I felt was favorable,@1/2" Stackhouse said. "I made them double team and got some open looks."

    Indiana faded in the fourth period when it made just 7-of-21 attempts from the field.

    Notes

  • Jackson became the fifth player in NBA history with 8,000 assists, joining John Stockton, Magic Johnson, Oscar Robertson and Isiah Thomas.
  • Davis and Smits both had season highs of 10 field goals.
  • Laettner's previous high for free throws made this season was nine.
  • Detroit has won six of its last eight games after opening the season with four consecutive losses.

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