Pistons Beat Pacers, End Frank’s 20-Game Skid
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) — Jonas Jerebko had 20 points and 12 rebounds, and the Detroit Pistons ended Lawrence Frank’s 20-game losing streak with a 96-88 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Saturday night.
Jerebko, who missed all of last season after tearing his Achilles’ tendon in the preseason, narrowly missed his career bests of 22 points and 13 boards.
Frank hadn’t won a game since April 13, 2009, when his Nets beat the Charlotte Bobcats. The Nets lost their final game that season, and Frank was fired after New Jersey got off to a 0-16 start the next fall. He also lost his first three games with the Pistons since replacing John Kuester during the offseason.
Tyler Hansbrough and George Hill each had 16 points off the bench for the Pacers, who lost for the first time in four games this season.
Greg Monroe added 19 points and 11 rebounds for Detroit, while Ben Gordon had 16 points and Rodney Stuckey scored 15. The Pistons got a scare with 2:58 left when Monroe and Stuckey collided going for a loose ball. Both needed attention from the training staff, but stayed in the game after the ensuing timeout.
Both teams played Friday night, but the Pacers seemed drained by their overtime victory over Cleveland, while the Pistons bounced back from a loss in Boston.
Jerebko had 16 points in the first half to help Detroit to a 52-44 lead. The Pistons, who struggled badly in the third quarter a year ago, came out strong against the Pacers and moved the advantage to 82-64 with 12 minutes left.
Detroit got sloppy down the stretch, allowing the Pacers to get within six, but Jerebko had a key steal in the final minute to prevent a dramatic finish.
NOTES: The Pacers were whistled for two defensive three-second technicals in a span of three first-quarter possessions. … Only four coaches have lost more than 20 straight games. Byron Scott holds the record with a 26-game streak with Cleveland, while Brian Winters (23), Bill Hanzlik (23) and Bill Musselman (22) have also had longer skids than Frank. … Charlie Villanueva, who sat out the first three games of the year to finish off a suspension, did not play on Saturday. Frank said before the game that Villanueva had been limited in practice by a minor injury.
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