Pacers stomp Pistons, put end to 3-game skid

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- The Detroit Pistons played a lot like the team that not too long ago lost 13 straight games.

Danny Granger scored 25 points, Troy Murphy added 16 points and 11 rebounds and the Indiana Pacers snapped a three-game skid with a 105-93 win over Detroit on Friday night.

The Pistons were coming off a home win over Boston and had won four of five, but were never in the game against one of the Eastern Conference's worst teams.

"I'm very disappointed," said Pistons coach John Kuester in a post-game press conference that lasted less than 60 seconds. "We talked about this before the game, and it shouldn't have happened."

Things got even uglier for Detroit when Kuester was involved in a heated exchange with Tayshaun Prince during a fourth-quarter timeout.

"Don't even ask me about that," said Prince, who returned after missing six games with a knee injury. "Y'all will just change my words anyway."

Indiana won for just the fifth time in 23 road games.

"It has been tough for us on the road, so this was a great win for us," Granger said. "Detroit is struggling, but they are a good team, and we haven't pulled many off on the road."

Brandon Rush had a season-high 19 points for Indiana, which had five players score at least 14.

"Brandon is starting to become very aggressive, and I'm pleased with the way he is playing," Indiana coach Jim O'Brien said. "We're 6-6 now in 2010 and we are looking for some consistency."

Richard Hamilton led Detroit with 27 and Jonas Jerebko had 14 points.

"We got a lot of momentum and a lot of confidence, but it seems like we took a step backward tonight," Charlie Villanueva said. "We're all frustrated tonight, and some guys let their emotions get the best of them."

Indiana led by as many as 17 points in the first half, but Detroit pulled to 53-45 at the intermission.

The Pacers scored the first 11 points of the second half, including five from Granger and four from Murphy, to move the margin to 19.

"Good starts are very important and we had two of them," Granger said. "We built the big lead early, then after they cut it eight at halftime, we came right back out and built it up again. That demoralizes the other team."

Indiana held an 85-67 lead at quarter's end and led by as many as 23 in the fourth as the few fans left booed loudly.

"We just didn't play with any energy," Jerebko said. "You saw it. Boston and tonight were like night and day."

Game notes
Prince (knee) played for just the 10th time this season, finishing with seven points in 24 minutes. "I've got to be careful to make it worse -- Rip came back from an injury and got hurt again, and I've been out twice now." Prince said that he expects his relationship to Kuester to be fine going forward. ... Ben Gordon (groin) and Will Bynum (ankle) continued to sit out for Detroit. ... Kwame Brown played after having sat out the last five games due to coach's decisions. ... Luther Head and Hamilton picked up technicals for trash-talking in the third quarter.


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