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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- INDIANA 26 29 29 34 118 DETROIT 30 26 26 29 111 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: IND - RIK SMITS 29, JALEN ROSE 23, REGGIE MILLER 23 DET - GRANT HILL 24, LINDSEY HUNTER 20, JERRY STACKHOUSE 19

HIGH REBOUND: IND - RIK SMITS 9, MARK JACKSON 7 DET - TERRY MILLS 7, JEROME WILLIAMS 5

HIGH ASSISTS: IND - MARK JACKSON 14, FOUR PLAYERS WITH 3 DET - GRANT HILL 6, TWO PLAYERS WITH 5

ATT: 16,371


Extended Box

INDIANA (118) AT DETROIT (111)

INDIANA REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == ===

D DAVIS F 8 1-3 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 ROSE F 41 7-15 8-10 0 3 3 3 1 2 4 23 SMITS C 33 12-17 5-6 1 8 9 1 3 2 3 29 JACKSON G 32 2-8 0-0 2 5 7 14 3 1 3 6 MILLER G 36 6-12 9-10 2 4 6 3 2 0 2 23 CROSHERE 34 7-10 2-2 2 2 4 3 2 0 2 18 MCKEY 15 0-1 2-2 0 5 5 1 4 1 1 2 PERKINS 14 2-4 3-4 0 2 2 0 0 1 1 9 BEST 17 2-3 0-0 0 1 1 3 3 0 2 4 HARRINGTON 10 0-1 2-2 0 2 2 0 2 0 1 2 J BENDER DNP - COACH'S DECISION MULLIN DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 39-74 31-36 7 32 39 28 20 7 20 118 (.527) (.861) TEAM REBS: 9 TOTAL TO: 20(22 PTS)

DETROIT REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == ===

HILL F 43 10-24 4-5 2 2 4 6 4 4 5 24 LAETTNER F 29 5-7 8-8 1 3 4 1 6 1 3 18 MILLS C 31 5-11 0-0 0 7 7 0 3 1 1 11 HUNTER G 39 8-13 0-0 0 1 1 4 4 2 1 20 STACKHOUSE G 39 9-22 1-1 4 0 4 5 5 1 4 19 MONTROSS 15 0-0 0-0 0 3 3 0 4 0 1 0 WILLIAMS 19 5-7 0-0 1 4 5 0 1 0 0 10 CURRY 14 2-3 1-1 1 1 2 2 4 1 1 5 CROTTY 11 1-2 2-2 0 1 1 5 3 0 2 4 BUECHLER DNP - COACH'S DECISION REID DNP - COACH'S DECISION VAUGHT DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 45-89 16-17 9 22 31 23 34 10 18 111 (.506) (.941) TEAM REBS: 6 TOTAL TO: 18(18 PTS)

INDIANA 26 29 29 34 - 118 DETROIT 30 26 26 29 - 111

BLOCKED SHOTS: INDIANA - CROSHERE 3, ROSE 3. DETROIT - STACKHOUSE, WILLIAMS, MONTROSS. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: INDIANA 9-17 (.529), ROSE 1-2, JACKSON 2-3, MILLER 2-4, CROSHERE 2-3, PERKINS 2-3, BEST 0-1, HARRINGTON 0-1. DETROIT 5-15 (.333), HILL 0-1, MILLS 1-6, HUNTER 4-5, STACKHOUSE 0-2, CROTTY 0-1. TECHNICALS: INDIANA - D DAVIS 2 (EJECTED). OFFICIALS: MIKE MATHIS, TOMMY NUNEZ, JIM KINSEY. A - 16,371. T - 2:17.


Box Score

INDIANA (118) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp D Davis 8 1-3 0-0 0-0 0 0 2 Rose 41 7-15 8-10 0-3 3 1 23 Smits 33 12-17 5-6 1-9 1 3 29 Jackson 32 2-8 0-0 2-7 14 3 6 Miller 36 6-12 9-10 2-6 3 2 23 Croshere 34 7-10 2-2 2-4 3 2 18 Mckey 15 0-1 2-2 0-5 1 4 2 Perkins 14 2-4 3-4 0-2 0 0 9 Best 17 2-3 0-0 0-1 3 3 4 Harrington 10 0-1 2-2 0-2 0 2 2 J Bender DNP - coach's decision Mullin DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 39-74 31-36 7-39 28 20 118 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.527, FT-.861. 3-Point Goals: 9-17, .529 (Rose 1-2, Jackson 2-3, Miller 2-4, Croshere 2-3, Perkins 2-3, Best 0-1, Harrington 0-1). Team rebounds: 9. Blocked shots: 6 (Croshere 3, Rose 3). Turnovers: 20 (Rose 4, Jackson 3, Smits 3, Best 2, Croshere 2, Miller 2, D Davis, Harrington, Mckey, Perkins). Steals: 7 (Rose 2, Smits 2, Jackson, Mckey, Perkins).

DETROIT (111) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Hill 43 10-24 4-5 2-4 6 4 24 Laettner 29 5-7 8-8 1-4 1 6 18 Mills 31 5-11 0-0 0-7 0 3 11 Hunter 39 8-13 0-0 0-1 4 4 20 Stackhouse 39 9-22 1-1 4-4 5 5 19 Montross 15 0-0 0-0 0-3 0 4 0 Williams 19 5-7 0-0 1-5 0 1 10 Curry 14 2-3 1-1 1-2 2 4 5 Crotty 11 1-2 2-2 0-1 5 3 4 Buechler DNP - coach's decision Reid DNP - coach's decision Vaught DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 45-89 16-17 9-31 23 34 111 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.506, FT-.941. 3-Point Goals: 5-15, .333 (Hill 0-1, Mills 1-6, Hunter 4-5, Stackhouse 0-2, Crotty 0-1). Team rebounds: 6. Blocked shots: 3 (Stackhouse, Williams, Montross). Turnovers: 18 (Hill 5, Stackhouse 4, Laettner 3, Crotty 2, Curry, Hunter, Mills, Montross). Steals: 10 (Hill 4, Hunter 2, Curry, Laettner, Mills, Stackhouse). ____________________________________________ Indiana 26 29 29 34 - 118 Detroit 30 26 26 29 - 111 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: Indiana 2 (D Davis 2 (ejected), 4:03 1st). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 16,371. T: 2:17. Officials: Mike Mathis, Tommy Nunez, Jim Kinsey.


Game Story

AUBURN HILLS, Michigan (Ticker) -- Rik Smits returned from a sore back and had his best game of the season as the Eastern Conference-leading Indiana Pacers held off the Detroit Pistons down the stretch for a 118-111 victory.

Smits, who had missed the previous three games, scored 29 points on 12-of-17 shooting against the smaller Pistons, who usually play wwithout a legitimate center. The 7-4 center also made 5-of-6 free throws and grabbed nine rebounds for Indiana, which has won 10 of its last 12 games and remained 2 1/2 games ahead of second-place Miami in the East.

"We made a decision that we were going to play Rik Smits straight up," Detroit coach Alvin Gentry said. "The shots that Rik made were tough shots and it wouldn't have mattered (if) we were trapping or not trapping on those."

Smits' performance was even more important since it helped make up for the absence of All-Star power forward Dale Davis, who was ejected with 4:04 remaining in the first quarter after arguing with officials.

"We just put another player in the game when Dale went out," Indiana coach Larry Bird said. "We didn't change the game plan at all. Our bench is strong enough to come in and pick up the slack."

Pacers All-Star guard Reggie Miller, who was fined $5,000 on Tuesday for a lewd gesture to the crowd during a loss at New York on Saturday, scored 11 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter. Miller buried a 3-pointer to cap a 12-4 run that gave Indiana a 108-101 lead with 2:39 to play.

"Reggie really made some big 3s. It really broke their backs in the second half," Bird said.

All-Star Grant Hill scored 24 points for the Pistons, who have lost four of five. Detroit is tied with Milwaukee for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot, one game ahead of Orlando.

"If Grant Hill shoots 24 times and only gets 24 points, I consider that a good game of defense against him," Bird said. "We just did a pretty good job rotating in the second half."

Jalen Rose remained hot in February, scoring 23 points on 7-of-15 shooting for the Pacers, who made 53 percent (39-of-74) from the field and held a 39-31 advantage on the boards. Rose is averaging better than 22 points in 10 games this month.

Mark Jackson handed out 14 assists for Indiana, which forced 18 turnovers and buried 9-of-17 shots from 3-point range. Austin Croshere scored 18 points off the bench, sinking 7-of-10 shots.

"I just got more looks tonight and I was able to capitalize on that," Croshere said. "My teammates found me a little more. They have a lot of excellent 1-on-1 players. You just got to throw a lot of team defenses at them and we did a good job on that tonight."

Jackson's 26-footer with 8:35 remaining in the first quarter gave Indiana an early 16-8 lead and Smits hit a 13-footer with 5:56 left to make it 21-12.

But Christian Laettner was good from 15 feet, Hill made a layup and two free throws and Lindsey Hunter framed a 20-footer by Jerry Stackhouse with a pair of 3-pointers as Detroit raced back ahead, 26-21, with 2:40 remaining in the period.

Smits scored 11 points during a 15-4 run as Indiana took a 55-49 lead with 1:04 remaining in the first half.

"Rik really set the tone for us early," Miller said. "When he sets the tone like that it makes things easier. All of our parts are interchangeable. We have no excuses if someone gets sick, hurt, goes on the injured list or gets thrown out."

The game featured 12 lead changes and six ties. The Pacers went ahead to stay when Travis Best made a driving layup midway through the fourth quarter to make it 97-96.

Hunter scored 20 points, Stackhouse 19 and Laettner had 18 for the Pistons, who shot 51 percent (45-of-89) and were outscored, 31-16, at the line.

"In a game like tonight, I should shoot more, period," said Stackhouse after a 9-of-22 performance from the field. "We may be complaining a little, but fans are complaining, too. A team that is basically a halfcourt team shot more free throws, and then they go to the basket but that is only some of it. We just didn't play as well as we did the last two games."

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