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Pacers 101, Pistons 94

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INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana forward Paul George scored 17 of his 27 points in the second half, leading the Pacers to a 101-94 win over the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night.

George missed his first three shots from the field and did not score a point in the first quarter, but he caught fire in the third and fourth quarters to help the Pacers avoid their second four-game losing streak of the season.

George hit 6-of-11 shots from the floor in the second half. He also had a team-high 12 rebounds.

Forward David West added 15 points and guard George Hill had 12 for Indiana (53-23). Center Roy Hibbert and guard Lance Stephenson each had 10 points as all of the Pacers starters scored in double figures.

Josh Smith led Detroit (27-48) with 24 points. He scored 15 points in the first quarter when Detroit led by as many as nine points.

Pistons forward Greg Monroe added 17 points and a game-high 16 rebounds. Center Andre Drummond had 14 rebounds and 13 points.

The Pacers were coming off their worst three games in franchise history offensively, being held below 79 points in three straight losses.

During a 10-0 run in the second quarter, the Pacers showed a touch of brilliance that had been missing during a stretch of five losses in six games. Fueling Indiana’s offense was Stephenson, who during a stretch of about one minute scored on a dunk, fed George with a pass for a 3-point basket, then grabbed a defensive rebound on Detroit’s possession and connected with center Ian Mahinmi for a long pass and basket.

George hit two 3-pointers in the 10-point streak that put the Pacers in front 45-40 with 3:18 left in the first half.

Smith led the Pistons to a quick start, hitting 6-of-11 shots from the field in the first quarter for 15 points. The Pistons scored seven of the game’s first 10 points and led by as many as nine points. He was held scoreless in the second quarter when the Pacers came back to lead by five.

Drummond picked up his second foul 2:10 into the game and was removed for the rest of the quarter by interim coach John Loyer. Drummond was a force inside the paint after that. He had eight rebounds, more than double of any other player, in the third quarter.

NOTES: Despite a season-worst slide that resulted in the Pacers losing five of six games entering Wednesday, coach Frank Vogel said he had no intention of changing his starting lineup of F Paul George, F David West, C Roy Hibbert, G George Hill and G Lance Stephenson. “When we’re playing together and playing the right way, the starting five is one of the best in the NBA. I believe in it,” Vogel said. … Indiana backup G CJ Watson, who missed his 11th game with a right hamstring strain, could return to action as soon as Sunday against the Atlanta Hawks. … Pistons C Andre Drummond has 50 double-doubles, the most in the Eastern Conference. His average of 12.8 rebounds per game ranks No. 1 in NBA history for a player age 20 or younger. Drummond is 19. … The Pistons, who are still mathematically alive for the last playoff spot in the East, will play four of their next five games on the road, including Friday at Brooklyn against the Nets.

Up to the minute news and reports from the news wire of The Sports Xchange.

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