Pistons 101, Pacers 96

Chris Goff, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

INDIANAPOLIS -- Forward Josh Smith scored 30 points and point guard Brandon Jennings had 18 points with eight assists as the Detroit Pistons held on to beat the Indiana Pacers 101-96 on Monday night. The Pistons snapped a 10-game losing streak in Indianapolis.
Indiana (20-4) received a career-high 23 points from guard Lance Stephenson, who added seven rebounds and six assists. The Pacers lost for the first time in 12 home games this season. Forward Luis Scola had 18 points, 12 in the fourth quarter, and forward Paul George scored 17 for Indiana.
The Pistons were coming off an overtime loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday night in which three starters played at least 44 minutes.
The Pacers shot just 35.9 percent in the opening half and were 4-for-17 from the field in the second quarter. They fought uphill all night, tying the game on four occasions but never leading.
The Pacers cut it to 96-94 after center Roy Hibbert rebounded a miss and George pushed ahead in transition to feed Stephenson for a 3-pointer. Smith then hit two free throws with 56.8 seconds left, and Jennings hit three free throws the rest of the way, sealing the win.
After a tight first quarter, both teams put together runs in the second.
Guard C.J. Watson and George hit 3-pointers during an 8-2 Pacers surge, capped by forward David West's free throw that tied it at 44 with 4:26 left in the half. Later, Indiana made five straight free throws to knot the game at 49.
Detroit responded with a 7-0 run to close the half, getting a 3-pointer from forward Jonas Jerebko after a spinning hoop from forward Greg Monroe and a baseline jumper from forward Josh Harrellson.
Monroe had 13 points and 12 rebounds for the Pistons (12-14), whose lead was cut to two at 91-89 with 4:09 remaining. Indiana then missed its next three shots and committed a turnover as Detroit edged away again.
Up 56-49 at the half, Detroit opened the third quarter scoring on five straight possessions. Smith had eight of those points, all coming in a span of just less than two minutes, and the Pistons kept producing offense from there.
Detroit built the lead back to nine on seven separate possessions of the third, but Indiana remained undeterred. The Pacers trailed by as many as 11 but West hit two jumpers in the final 1:23 of the period to trim Detroit's lead to 79-73 entering the fourth.
The Pacers shot 12 of 20 in the third, with Stephenson making all four of his from the field during the quarter. That pushed him to seven of 10 in the game to that point.
But Detroit never lost the lead in the fourth, buoyed nicely by key stops -- and an emotional lift from Jennings, who silenced a deafening buzz from the crowd when he drilled a trey to push the lead to five with 3:47 remaining. His two free throws made it 96-89 with 2:17 left.
NOTES: The Pacers won the other matchup between the teams this season, beating Detroit 99-91 in The Palace of Auburn Hills on Nov. 5. ... Detroit G Chauncey Billups, one of the oldest players in the league at 37, sat out for rest. ... Indiana reserve F Rasual Butler sustained a scratched left eye in the second quarter. ... Smith received a technical foul with 1:58 left in the first half for arguing a no-call. It was his third technical of the season. He had 11 last year.

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