Pacers Rout Pistons 114-82
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – The Indiana Pacers were playing well when they got a couple of the days off for the All-Star break. They may be playing even better now.
David West scored 18 points, George Hill had 15 and the surging Pacers beat the Detroit Pistons 114-82 on Friday night.
Indiana has won three straight and eight of 10, including a 98-79 victory against Detroit on Jan. 30.
“I’m very, very pleased with how our guys are approaching the post All-Star break,” coach Frank Vogel said. “They have incredible focus and energy. Our offense is really coming on.”
The Pacers grabbed control with a 14-4 run at the start of the second quarter. Orlando Johnson had 11 points in the spurt, making back-to-back 3-pointers to help Indiana to a 48-23 lead.
Will Bynum scored 17 points for the stumbling Pistons, who have split their last four games.
Indiana picked up right where it left off in Wednesday’s impressive 125-91 victory against the New York Knicks. The Pacers led 74-44 at halftime of that one, and Paul George finished with 27 points.
George was relatively quiet against Detroit, finishing with 12 points and seven rebounds. But the Pacers didn’t need another big night from the All-Star.
Indiana made 10 of its first 14 shots while building a 29-10 lead. Hill scored seven points during the opening stretch.
Lance Stephenson also asserted himself early and set the tone with his aggressive play, taking the ball to the basket and making the Pistons pay for their failure to get back and stop the fast break. Stephenson, starting in place of injured guard Danny Granger, scored six of his 10 points during the Pacers’ initial run.
“(Stephenson’s) playing at an incredible level right now,” Vogel said. “What he’s been doing to our tempo, pushing the ball is something.”
The Pacers shot 56 percent from the field and held the Pistons to 35 percent. Six Pacers scored in double figures – including Johnson, a reserve who had a season-high 14 points.
“(Johnson’s) not coming out of the rotation any time soon,” Vogel said.
Indiana’s average margin of victory during its win streak is 30 points. It began with a 101-77 victory over Charlotte on Feb. 13.
“With Indiana, it’s all about blitzkrieg,” Pistons coach Lawrence Frank said. “They blitzkrieged New York, who bliztkrieged us. There’s no surprise about what they did.”
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