Pacers down Pistons behind balanced attackDec 27, 2011 - 3:30 AM Indianapolis, IN (Sports Network) - David West, Roy Hibbert and Tyler Hansbrough each recorded double-doubles as the Indiana Pacers downed the Detroit Pistons, 91-79, in the season opener for both teams.
Hansbrough had 15 points and 13 rebounds, West, a free-agent acquisition, finished with 11 points and 12 rebounds, and Roy Hibbert netted 16 points with 14 boards for the Pacers, who made their first playoff appearance since 2006 last season.
"We've got a strong front court on this team, which I am very excited about," Pacers head coach Frank Vogel said. "We're going to be a strong offensive rebounding team."
Vogel -- then the interim head coach -- sparked Indiana to a 20-18 finish last year when he took over for the fired Jim O'Brien. He was rewarded with the head coaching job during the offseason.
Indiana fought hard against No. 1 seed Chicago in the first round, but were eventually eliminated in five games.
Jonas Jerebko and Rodney Stuckey each finished with 17 points for the Pistons, who have had three consecutive losing seasons since appearing in six straight Eastern Conference Finals between 2003-2008.
Lawrence Frank was named the new head coach in the offseason, taking over for John Kuester, who went 57-107 in two seasons with Detroit.
"They crashed the boards hard tonight," Jerebko said. "But we knew that from the beginning, we need to give a better effort than that, a lot better than what we showed today."
Indiana outrebounded Detroit, 53-40.
The Pacers built a 26-17 lead after the first quarter by attacking the basket, getting to the free-throw line and playing stellar defense. Indiana hit on 9- of-12 from the charity stripe, and held Detroit to 33 percent shooting. West paced the Pacers with six points and four rebounds in the opening stanza.
Detroit went on a 9-1 run midway through the second quarter, capped by a Prince jumper from the left baseline, to cut the margin to 35-32.
Indiana had the answer, though, as Paul George and Darren Collison hit back- to-back three-pointers to give Indiana a 47-34 lead with 2:15 left in the second.
The Pacers took a 52-38 lead into the locker room. George led Indiana with 10 points and West added nine points and nine rebounds in the opening half. The Pacers held a commanding advantage in free throws attempted, 20-4, and rebounds, 30-16.
Indiana took a 76-58 lead after three quarters, and were never challenged by the Pistons in the final stanza.
Indiana has won seven straight home games against Detroit...Danny Granger had 16 points, and George netted 12 points...Indiana went 37-45 last year, while the Pistons finished last season with a 30-52 mark...Indiana led by as many as 24 points and never trailed in the game.
- DETROIT: 79
Dec 26 9:28 PM
- DETROIT: 58
End of 3rd
Dec 26 9:00 PM
- DETROIT: 38
Dec 26 8:14 PM
- DETROIT: 17
End of 1st
Dec 26 7:43 PM
- DETROIT: 0
1st Quarter - 12:00
Dec 26 7:16 PM
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