Smith stays hot as Pistons upend PacersDec 17, 2013 - 4:23 AM
Indiana entered Monday's clash as one of just two teams in the NBA without a blemish at home this season, winning 11 straight to open the year. Only the Thunder (12-0) remain unbeaten at home.
Greg Monroe recorded a 13-point, 12-rebound double-double in the triumph, just Detroit's second in its last six games. Brandon Jennings had 18 points and eight assists.
Lance Stephenson netted a career-high 23 points with seven rebounds and six assists in the setback. Paul George tallied 17 points with nine rebounds and Luis Scola scored 18 off the bench.
"We didn't compete tonight," said Indiana forward David West. "We didn't come ready to play. They were more aggressive and took advantage of our errors."
Detroit led by 10 early in the fourth period before Scola netted six points during an 8-0 Indiana burst to get back to 89-87 with 4:55 remaining, but the Eastern Conference leaders failed to get over the hump.
Smith ended the run with an alley-oop from Jennings, who drilled a wing 3 for a five-point cushion before the final media timeout.
Stephenson scored five straight points, including a trey at 1:17 to once again cut the Pacers' deficit to two. Out of a timeout, Smith made a pair of free throws and Indiana missed on the other end.
Jennings then missed a 3, but Stephenson lost control of the potential rebound out-of-bounds. The Pistons' point guard put the game away from the free throw line.
"The last five minutes of the game, coach wants the ball in my hands," said Jennings. "Not necessarily to shoot it but to make plays for my teammates and just be aggressive. I love it."
Earlier, Indiana trailed 31-28 after the first period and shot just 4-of-17 in the second.
Smith, who netted 31 points in Sunday's overtime loss to Portland, turned in back-to-back 30-point games for the first time since March 21-23, 2012, when he went for 32 and 30 in wins over the Cavaliers and Nets ... Detroit won the rebounding margin, 55-40 ... Both teams shot 43.2 percent from the field.
Dec 16 9:34 PM
- DETROIT: 79
End of 3rd
Dec 16 8:48 PM
- DETROIT: 56
Dec 16 8:08 PM
- DETROIT: 31
End of 1st
Dec 16 7:37 PM
- DETROIT: 0
1st Quarter - 11:44
Dec 16 7:11 PM
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