INDIANAPOLIS, Jan. 20 (Ticker) -- Jermaine O'Neal
, Reggie Miller
the Indiana Pacers made sure 13 was an unlucky number for the
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O'Neal collected 28 points, 15 rebounds and four blocks and
Miller scored 22 points as the Pacers defeated the Pistons
81-69, ending their team record-tying 13-game winning streak.
Indiana, which has won 12 of 13, scored the game's first eight
points and never trailed. The Pacers won their sixth straight
home game, improved to 3-0 against Detroit this season and
opened a 3½-game edge over the second-place Pistons in the
"We just wanted to continue to get better and keep our winning
streak going," said Miller, whose team won its fifth straight
game and improved to 17-4 at home. "Obviously, they had won 13
straight coming into tonight, so we have to take satisfaction in
being the team to knock them somewhat off course. We're going
to see them plenty more, once more time at their place and
probably in the playoffs."
"You can't really pop the champagne over a win like this,"
O'Neal said. "Championships aren't won in January. We just
need to take the positives in stride and learn from our
Pacers coach Rick Carlisle
, whose team played for the fourth
time in five days, was dismissed by the Pistons last summer despite
leading them to back-to-back division titles.
"It's tough when you play four games in five nights, but they
were playing four in five nights, too," Carlisle said. "These
teams were so even stat-wise, it made for an intriguing matchup
coming in. It was a great win and I give our guys credit for
having the toughness to hang in there in one of the toughest
stretches I've seen. I've got a lot of admiration for our team
and the way they've held together."
Reserve Corliss Williamson
scored 17 points for Detroit, which
had not lost since Dec. 26 but set a season low for points.
The Pistons managed just 29 in the second half after trailing
44-40 at halftime.
The Pacers converted 21 Detroit turnovers into 26 points. The
Pistons scored just 10 points off 12 Indiana giveaways.
"They didn't turn the ball over," Pistons coach Larry Brown
said. "They converted turnovers and we didn't. When you turn
the ball over, you don't have many answers."
added 15 points but shot just 4-of-13 for the
Pistons, who also won 13 straight games during the 1989-90
season en route to the second of back-to-back championships.
"They did a great job of defending us," Hamilton said. "We got
off to a slow start. We couldn't make any shots in the first
quarter. They made a run when they were supposed to make one.
They were able to make their shots and they won the game."
Both teams shot under 40 percent but the Pacers made 6-of-14
3-pointers and the Pistons 1-of-5. Indiana also sank 19-of-20
free throws while Detroit made only 18-of-27.
O'Neal had eight points and 10 rebounds and Ron Artest
points in the first quarter as the Pacers jumped out to a 20-9
lead. The Pistons shot just 19 percent in the period (3-of-16).
"We had a good defensive effort tonight, but then we didn't score
100 points," said Artest, who scored 10. "It was a huge
win but we've got to continue to improve, help each other; and
by doing this we can win. We have to have the same energy level
in the end that you do in the beginning."
The Pistons trailed by just 57-53 after a jumper by Hamilton
with 3:44 left in the third quarter, but the Pacers extended the
advantage to 66-57 at the end of the period and Detroit got no
closer than seven points thereafter.