By JIM JOHNSON/Associated Press
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Paul George had 27 points and 13 rebounds, David West scored 15 points and the Indiana Pacers snapped a three-game skid with a 101-94 win over the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night.
George hit a 3-pointer from 35-feet to give the Pacers a 94-90 lead with 3:19 remaining and Indiana never trailed the rest of the way.
Josh Smith had 24 points and five rebounds and Greg Monroe added 16 points for the Pistons, who have lost four of their last five games.
Brandon Jennings hit a 3 to get Detroit within 94-93 before George scored, forced a turnover and West hit a jumper to give the Pacers a 98-93 lead with 1:35 left to play.
The Pacers gave fans mixed signals. At times Indiana’s sluggish play showed signs of a team that continues to struggle with chemistry, shooting and turnovers. At other times, the Pacers looked like the same old team fans were used to before the All-Star break.
Bankers Life Fieldhouse was abnormally silent when the Pistons went on an 8-0 run midway through the first quarter and took a 23-14 lead after Monroe scored with 4:19 left in the opening quarter.
Then the Pacers showed signs of life.
They went on a 12-2 spurt to close out the first. George scored to give the Pacers a 28-27 lead with 20 seconds left in the first.
Evan Turner dunked and West scored to give the Pacers a 35-32 lead with 8:03 remaining in the second quarter.
The Pistons went on an 8-0 run when Stuckey converted a 3-point play and Drummond made two baskets and later a free throw to put the Pistons ahead 40-35 with 5:13 left in the second quarter.
Stephenson then sparked a 10-0 surge with a one-handed dunk and George closed it out with a 3 to give the Pacers a 45-40 advantage with 3:20 left in the half.
George’s free throw with 31 seconds left in the second gave the Pacers a 50-46 lead at halftime.
The Pistons handed Indiana its first home loss of the season, 101-96 back on Dec. 16, but the Pacers won twice in Detroit, including a 112-104 overtime win on March 15.
The Pacers play three of their next four games on the road. They go to Toronto on Friday and will host Atlanta on Sunday before going on the road to Milwaukee and Miami next week.
The Pacers will host Oklahoma City on April 13 in Indiana’s final home game before the playoffs.
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