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Old 04-04-04, 08:08 PM
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Detroit 79, Indiana 61

After the strong showing that the Spurs had against the Pistons, this score surprises me. I did not expect them to dominate the Pacers like they did.
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Brown’s Pistons Pummel Pacers

AUBURN HILLS, Mich., April 4 (Ticker) -- Larry Brown finally beat Rick Carlisle. Ben Wallace and Rasheed Wallace beat down All-Star Jermaine O'Neal.

Dictating the tempo with a physical style to their liking, the Detroit Pistons held O'Neal to nine points on 4-of-15 shooting and rolled to a 79-61 victory over the Indiana Pacers.

It marked the 10th time this season the Pistons have held an opponent under 70 points. Indiana's previous season low was 71 points against Denver in a November 4 victory.

"The Pistons are a great defensive team, and that's no secret," said Carlisle, the Pacers coach who was fired by Detroit and replaced by Brown in the offseason. "We had some opportunities, but you just have to give them credit for just playing a great game. We could have been a lot better offensively, but they had a lot to do with our struggles."

Carlisle beat Brown, who coached the Philadelphia 76ers, in a playoff series last May and won the first three meetings this season. In the last meeting on January 20, O'Neal had 28 points and 15 rebounds in an 81-69 victory for Indiana.

But that was before the Pistons acquired Rasheed Wallace at the trade deadline. Dealing with the combination of Ben and Rasheed Wallace plus playing with a bruised left knee made for a rough day for O'Neal, who finished with nine points - less than half his scoring average of 20.1.

"I hurt my team a lot," said O'Neal, who made two of his first three shots, then missed nine in a row. "If I shoot better, I think we can win the game because we were still in it late. I just didn't give us any lift. I want to play 36-37 minutes a game and try to get healthy and get into a rhythm before the playoffs, but I have to play better than this."

Richard Hamilton led the Pistons with 24 points, including a layup and two jumpers in an 11-0 run which helped the Pistons open a 70-53 lead with just under five minutes left.

"I think (today) we (Hamilton and Chauncey Billups) were a lot more patient, letting the game come to us rather than trying to be the two primary scorers, trying to get the big men involved," Hamilton said. "With the addition of Rasheed, it makes it a lot easier anyway, because they can't just focus on the guards."

Hamilton blanketed Reggie Miller, who made just 3-of-9 shots, including 1-of-6 3-pointers.

The win was the 50th of the season for the Pistons (50-27), marking the third straight season they have reached the plateau. They are 16-5 since acquiring Rasheed Wallace on February 19.

The Pacers (56-21) already have clinched the best record in the Eastern Conference and remain two wins shy of matching an NBA franchise record for wins. They won 59 games in the ABA in consecutive seasons from 1969-71.

Ron Artestscored 16 points and was the only player in double figures for the Pacers, who shot 32 percent.


http://www.nba.com/games/20040404/INDDET/recap.html
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Old 04-04-04, 08:20 PM
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Corliss Williamson with 10 points, he's the man.
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Old 04-04-04, 09:45 PM
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"I hurt my team a lot," said O'Neal, who made two of his first three shots, then missed nine in a row. "If I shoot better, I think we can win the game because we were still in it late. I just didn't give us any lift. I want to play 36-37 minutes a game and try to get healthy and get into a rhythm before the playoffs, but I have to play better than this."

Well, at least he's being a man about it and taking responsibility. He's right; if he hadn't been stinking it up so much, the Pacers could have won. The game was so painful for me to watch that I turned off the sound and read a book until the Spurs game came on. I can only hope his leg heals before the playoffs start. Maybe he should have taken more games off, ala Tim.
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Old 04-04-04, 10:10 PM
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I really think if either the Pistons or the Pacers make the finals from the East, they'll give the West champs (hopefully the Spurs) a tough battle.
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