(INDIANAPOLIS, IN) - The Detroit Pistons outscored Indiana 35-to-18 in the third quarter to pull away to a 100-85 victory over the Pacers.
Indiana hit nine of their first eleven shots to jump out to a quick 20-to-6 lead. They still led midway through the third quarter before the Pistons closed the period with a 24-9 run to take control of the game.
Tayshaun Prince led Detroit with 24 points and Richard Hamilton added 19 as the Pistons won for the fifth time in six games.
Jermaine O'Neal was back and led Indiana with 20 points. O'Neal missed Sunday night's win over San Antonio with injuries to his left knee and ankle. Mike Dunleavy finished with 15 points and Danny Granger added 14 as the Pacers lost for the 18th time in their last 21 games. The blue-and-gold were without center Jeff Foster, who sat out the game with back spasms.
With the loss, the Pacers fall to 32-and-42 and are two full games behind Orlando for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
The defeat also insures Indiana of its first losing season since the 1996-97 campaign, which was also the last time the Pacers failed to make the playoffs.
The Pacers have a couple of days off before heading to charlotte to face the Bobcats on Friday night.
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