INDIANAPOLIS (WWJ/AP) – Greg Monroe led the Pistons with 18 points but it wasn’t enough as the Indiana Pacers edge the Pistons 103-97 on Monday night.
As heard on 97.1 The Ticket – the Pistons and Pacers stayed within a few points throughout the fourth quarter but the Pacers pulled away in the final minute for the win.
Monroe had a double/double scoring 18 with 12 rebounds, Brandon Knight had 16 points and Tayshaun Prince followed with 14 points in the disappointing loss to Indiana.
Paul George scored 12 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter to help the Indiana Pacers beat the Pistons.
George made 13 of 15 free throws and grabbed 10 rebounds for the Pacers. David West scored 20 points and Leandro Barbosa and Tyler Hansbrough added 13 points each for Indiana.
Pacers coach Frank Vogel rested regular starters Danny Granger, Roy Hibbert and George Hill since Indiana is locked into the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Detroit held the Pacers to 38 percent shooting, but Indiana forced 18 turnovers and outrebounded the Pistons 56-42. Indiana outscored the Pistons 29-13 from the free-throw line.
A three-point play by Hansbrough gave the Pacers an 87-84 lead in the fourth quarter. George made two free throws, then showed why he was in the slam-dunk contest. He took off from the right side of the paint, pulled the ball back and jammed it through with his right hand to give the Pacers a 91-84 lead with 5:23 to play.
A 3-pointer and a runner by Detroit’s Charlie Villanueva cut Indiana’s lead to 91-89.
Detroit could have taken the lead in the final minute, but Monroe missed two free throws. Hansbrough was fouled on a putback attempt on the other end, and he made both free throws to give Indiana a 99-96 lead with 26.5 seconds to play.
Monroe was fouled on a drive with 20.6 seconds left. He made the first free throw and missed the second, and George got the rebound. George made two free throws with 19.4 seconds to play to give the Pacers a 101-97 lead. George made two more free throws with 9.6 seconds left.
Indiana led 54-52 at halftime behind 13 points by George.
Jeff Pendergraph dunked on consecutive possessions to give Indiana a 64-58 lead early in the third quarter. Later, on a fast break, Hansbrough dribbled up the middle of the court like a point guard and found Barbosa for a layup to give Indiana a 73-67 lead. A three-point play by Barbosa moments later pushed the lead to nine.
Consecutive 3s by Prince and Knight, and a goaltending violation by the Pacers on a shot by Prince in close cut Indiana’s lead to 76-75 at the end of the third quarter.
The Detroit Pistons will play their final game of the season on Thursday against Philadelphia – game time 8 p.m.
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(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)