INDIANAPOLIS, May 30 (Ticker) -- In a defensive-minded series, Richard Hamilton continues to be the exception to the rule.

Hamilton scored a playoff career-high 33 points as the Detroit Pistons captured pivotal Game Five of the Eastern Conference finals with an 83-65 victory over the Indiana Pacers.

Detroit took a 3-2 lead in the series and can earn its first trip to the NBA Finals since 1990 with a victory at home in Game Six on Tuesday. The Pistons rode the hot hand of Hamilton while clamping down on the Pacers.

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Rasheed Wallace and Detroit will try to eliminate Indiana in Game 6.
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"Rip played a big game," said Pistons forward Rasheed Wallace, who collected 22 points and eight rebounds. "There's nothing new, he's been doing it this whole series and the last series. He's pretty much been our flow on offense."

Hamilton has topped the 20-point plateau in seven straight games and surpassed a 30-point effort in Game Four of the Eastern Conference semifinals against New Jersey.

"I always learned and definitely learned from playing from coach Doug Collins playing in Washington, that I have to keep moving," Hamilton said. "I just keep moving, I have a lot of energy. I just try not to stay in the same spot."

The Pistons never trailed and Hamilton scored five quick points to snap a 35-35 tie late in the second quarter.

Hamilton, who made his first four shots of the third quarter, took a feed from Chauncey Billups for a layup and was fouled. The ensuing free throw put Detriot ahead 53-42 with 6:27 to go.

Indiana cut into a 16-point deficit and pulled within 64-59 on Fred Jones' jumper with 8:32 remaining. Wallace answered with four points in an 8-0 surge that put the Pistons ahead 72-59 with 5:49 left.

Pacers star Jermaine O'Neal finished with only 11 points and six rebounds - his lowest totals in the series. O'Neal underwent an MRI prior to the game that revealed heavy swelling on his bruised left knee.

"They played aggressive, but we didn't share the ball tonight," said O'Neal, who refused to use his knee as an excuse. "We tried to make 1-on-1 plays on the perimeter and that made it tough on us."

After getting blasted in Game Five, Detroit made an adjustment by making sure Wallace got his touches on post-up opportunities. Wallace made 8-of-17 shots and also helped open things up for Hamilton.

"I think every game we go into, we're trying to establish an inside presence," Detroit coach Larry Brown said. "When we take a lot of threes, we have a tendency to fail. Once you get it inside a little bit, you can get people involved."

Indiana shot just under 33 percent (25-of-76), was 4-of-21 from the arc and had 13 shots blocked. Ron Artest made just 4-of-15 shots and Austin Croshere- the spark in Game Four with 14 points - missed all seven shots and scored two points.

"It was certainly a tough night from start to finish," Indiana coach Rick Carlisle said. "Looking at the stat sheet, I've got to say I take the blame for this one myself. I didn't have the guys ready to play this type of game."

"We had a feeling they were going to try (Croshere) again since they had success with it so we were ready for it," Wallace said.

While Hamilton carried the Pistons' offense, shooting guard counterpart Reggie Miller was unable to keep up. The 38-year-old Miller did not have a basket after the first quarter and finished with only five points.

"I don't think it was a letdown, but obviously we didn't play with the same energy that we played with in Detroit," Miller said. "Most or much of our principles went out the window tonight."