Detroit (23-45) at Indiana (22-46)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: Indianapolis, IN
Temp: 70° F
  • Game info: 7:00 pm EDT Fri Mar 19, 2010
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The Indiana Pacers have used a string of solid performances from Danny Granger(notes) in a four-game win streak over the Detroit Pistons.

Granger, though, may not be available when the Pacers try to hand the Pistons an eighth straight road loss Friday night.

Indiana (22-46) played without Granger in a 99-94 loss at Cleveland on Wednesday, one night after he took an inadvertent elbow to his upper right cheek in the final minute of a 99-94 win over Charlotte. There is no timetable for his return.

“It seems like he’s going to be all right,” coach Jim O’Brien said. “Hopefully, he’ll be back in the lineup quickly. You never know when someone got hit that hard in the head area, you always have to be concerned.”

The Pacers are 7-13 without Granger, who missed 16 games due to a right foot injury.

The Pistons (23-45) are no doubt hoping not to see Granger since he averaged 28.8 points against them over the last two seasons, including 24.5 in four straight victories. Detroit had won the previous eight meetings.

Indiana hasn’t won five straight over its Central Division rival since a six-game run Feb. 23, 2000-Feb. 15, 2001, and enters this game playing well at Conseco Fieldhouse.

“We’ve won our last three home games, so things are starting to pick up for us,” O’Brien said.

O’Brien’s club hung in against the league-leading Cavaliers, as Roy Hibbert(notes) scored 20 points and Troy Murphy(notes) added 19 and 15 rebounds for his fourth straight double-double.

Hibbert and Murphy have been solid in two wins over Detroit this season, combining for 52 points and 39 rebounds.

Detroit has lost three straight after falling 113-101 at home to Cleveland on Tuesday. The Pistons led heading into the fourth quarter before allowing 38 points.

The effort came one night after a dispiriting 119-93 loss at Boston in which Detroit trailed by 29 at halftime.

“We were trying to redeem ourselves, so this is very frustrating,” forward Charlie Villanueva(notes) said Tuesday. “It’s encouraging to see us compete like this, but it is still another loss.”

Richard Hamilton(notes) scored 24 points and Villanueva added 16 against the Cavaliers as the Pistons fell to 2-10 versus division opponents.

“We competed,” coach John Kuester said. “Guys gave everything they had. We just had some things not go our way at the end, but I’ll tell you this: I was very proud of the way our guys played.”

Detroit is expecting starting point guard Rodney Stuckey(notes) to play Friday night, two weeks after he collapsed on the bench during a game against the Cavs. Stuckey, who has sat out the last six contests, is averaging 17.1 points and 5.0 assists.

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Friday, Mar 19