JERMAINE O'NEAL
Returned to the lineup after a one-game absence and scored 20 points on 10-of-16 shooting, adding seven rebounds, three assists and two blocked shots.
RICK CARLISLE
"We played three pretty good quarters and one horrendous quarter and that's pretty much the story of the game. We struggled at both ends in the third quarter and (Tayshaun) Prince got it going. That was the key point. … They lifted the level of their play in the third quarter and we just weren't able to match it."
Points in the Paint:
Pistons 42, Pacers 40
Fast-break points:
Pacers 21, Pistons 16
2nd-chance points:
Pistons 15, Pacers 8
Points off turnovers:
Pistons 25, Pacers 9
Starters scoring:
Pistons 74, Pacers 57
Bench scoring:
Pacers 28, Pistons 26
After the Pacers took their biggest lead of the game, 42-28, with 5:05 left in the half, they were outscored 59-22 in a span of 20 minutes, 4 seconds as the Pistons completely reversed the game and built an 87-64 lead with 9:01 remaining in the fourth.
The Pacers travel to Charlotte to face explosive scorer Gerald Wallace and the Bobcats Friday (7 p.m., FSN-Indiana).
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  • DETROIT 100, INDIANA 85
    Pacers Can't Handle Detroit Defense

    By Conrad Brunner | April 3, 2007


    If this is a taste of the reward that awaits the Pacers, should they manage to climb into the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, it might not offer much in the way of incentive.

    Though they shot well and appeared to be in control for most of the first half, the Pacers quickly lost it. Taking over in the third quarter by extending defensive pressure on the perimeter while also dominating the boards inside, the Pistons controlled the entire floor and turned a 14-point deficit into a 23-point lead in less than 21 minutes and went on to a 100-85 victory Tuesday in Conseco Fieldhouse.

    The Pacers led 42-28 midway through the second quarter but managed just 22 points and committed 10 turnovers in the next 20-plus minutes as Detroit erupted for 59 points, including a devastating 22-2 run bridging the third and fourth periods.

    The Pacers (32-42) dropped their 18th out of 21 and lost one-half game to eighth-place Orlando (34-40) and seventh-place New Jersey (34-39) in the race for the final two playoff spots in the Eastern Conference. They also assured their first sub-.500 record since 1996-97, when they wre 39-43.

    Detroit (48-26) won its third in a row and fifth in six games.


    PLUSES

    Though he wasn't able to spend as much time as usual in the post, O'Neal hit his open jumpers and scored 20 points on 10-of-16 shooting, adding seven rebounds, three assists and two blocks in returning to the lineup after a one-game absence. Jamaal Tinsley, playing with a right elbow injury suffered on the final play of the Pacers' 100-99 victory over San Antonio Sunday, did not attempt a shot but produced 10 assists. Danny Granger was efficient and effective with 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting with eight rebounds, two assists, a steal and a block. And Mike Dunleavy scored 15. The Pacers shot well (52.2 percent) and had 23 assists.
    MINUSES
    With Tinsley hampered by his injury, the Pacers were seriously disrupted when Detroit extended perimeter pressure, defensively, and wound up committing 17 turnovers that led to 25 Piston points. Indiana also struggled on the boards in the third quarter, when Detroit held a 14-3 rebounding advantage, including seven offensive rebounds that produced 11 of the team's 15 second-chance points.

    There was no good matchup for Tayshaun Prince, who scored 24 points on 9-of-16 shooting. Richard Hamilton scored 19 and missed just two of 10 shots. Chris Webber had 10 points and 10 rebounds and Antonio McDyess stepped in when Rasheed Wallace left the game with a hand injury in the third period and produced eight points and five rebounds in the second half.


    MOMENTS
    The Pacers again started well, jumping out to a 20-6 lead behind Granger and O'Neal. The Pistons responded with 14-2 counter has Prince scored eight to close to 22-20, but Indiana put together a nine-point run midway through the second to take a 42-28 lead. The Pistons began their comeback with a 13-2 run that cut the deficit to 46-43 at the break.

    Things began teetering in the third period as Detroit had yet another run, this time 9-2, to take a 54-52 lead. The Pacers managed to make enough shots to hang around for awhile and were trailing 65-62 late in the third. Hamilton, Prince and Chauncey Billups then took over, combining for 18 points in a 22-2 run that extended the Detroit lead to 87-64 with 9:01 remaining.


    TIDBITS
  • Though O'Neal returned and Tinsley played through his right arm injury, Jeff Foster – who left after the first quarter Sunday against the Spurs – missed the game with lower back spasms. Murphy started in his place.
  • The Pacers split the season series with the Pistons.
  • Marquis Daniels missed his 17th consecutive game with a left knee injury.