Indiana at Detroit

Granger helps Pacers end road skid, complete season sweep of Pistons

CBSSports.com wire reports
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AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- The Detroit Pistons were eliminated from playoff contention, almost fittingly, by a team that came into the game on a nine-game losing streak.

Danny Granger had 32 points to lead the Indiana Pacers to a season sweep of the Pistons with a 98-83 victory on Tuesday night.

The Pacers are 20-46 against the rest of the NBA but beat Detroit in all four meetings this season -- the first time the Pacers swept a season series with the Pistons.

"I was very happy with our effort in the second quarter, but we couldn't keep it going once again," Pistons coach John Kuester said. "That's the disappointing part."

Kuester, normally one of the league's calmer coaches, was ejected for rushing the court after an offensive foul was called on Ben Gordon in the third quarter.

"I was trying to fight for our team," he said. "The foul differential was 26-14 tonight, and that isn't even giving us a chance to win."

Brandon Rush scored 20 points for Indiana, while Troy Murphy added 10 points and 12 rebounds. Earl Watson had 13 assists.

"We had a great game all around -- Earl was looking for me, and I was making shots," Rush said. "I just don't think the Pistons are used to the way we play."

Tayshaun Prince had 14 points for the Pistons, who lost starting point guard Will Bynum in the first half with a back bruise.

Indiana led by double figures in the first quarter, but only held a 52-49 advantage at the half. The Pacers regained the momentum in the third, moving the margin to 13 in the aftermath of Kuester's ejection.

"We got a little sluggish, but I thought we came out really well and played good second half of basketball, especially defensively," Indiana coach Jim O'Brien said.

The Pacers led by 11 going into the fourth and were never seriously threatened down the stretch.

"We're not going to stop playing, and we're not going to stop working," Kuester said. "I told the guys that we have 11 games and a lot of practices left, and we're going to approach every one of them like we are going to the playoffs. That's what Indiana is doing, and look what they did to us tonight."

Notes

  • Ben Wallace, the only Piston who was on the team when they last missed the playoffs, sat out for the 10th time in 11 games with sore knees.
  • The Pacers have beaten the Pistons six consecutive times, their longest streak against Detroit since a six-game game run spanning the 1999-2000 and 2000-01 seasons.
  • Gordon was called for a flagrant foul for elbowing Granger in the head in the fourth.
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Danny Granger is too much to handle for Kwame Brown and the sputtering Pistons.  (Getty Images)
Danny Granger is too much to handle for Kwame Brown and the sputtering Pistons. (Getty Images)

Scoreboard
Indiana (25-46) «2923252198
Detroit (23-48) 1831171783
IND:D. Granger 32 Pts
IND:T. Murphy 12 Reb
IND:E. Watson 13 Ast
DET:T. Prince 14 Pts
DET:K. Brown 15 Reb
DET:T. Prince 6 Ast
Players of the Game
DetroitIndiana

T. Prince

D. Granger
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
14963264
Indiana
D. Granger, SF428-2011-1464132
T. Murphy, PF364-112-3123210
E. Watson, PG353-90-231317
B. Rush, SG347-91-141020
R. Hibbert, C302-61-65045
M. Dunleavy, SF204-85-781013
D. Jones, SG150-20-01030
S. Jones, PF152-50-04134
A. Price, PG133-60-01107
T. Hansbrough, PFDid Not Play
T. Ford, PGDid Not Play
J. McRoberts, PFDid Not Play
J. Foster, CDid Not Play
L. Head, PGDid Not Play
Totals 33-7620-3344241498
 43.4%60.6% 
Detroit
T. Prince, SF406-121-196214
J. Jerebko, SF232-92-26037
R. Hamilton, SG223-122-20519
J. Maxiell, PF212-52-32156
W. Bynum, PG175-60-024011
R. Stuckey, PG323-94-421611
B. Gordon, SG295-141-124312
K. Brown, C251-40-215042
C. Villanueva, PF214-122-261211
D. Summers, SF90-10-01000
C. Atkins, PGDid Not Play
B. Wallace, CDid Not Play
A. Daye, SFDid Not Play
C. Wilcox, CDid Not Play
Totals 31-8414-1745222683
 36.9%82.4% 
Other Games
Char 95 Final
Wash 86
Den 104 Final
NY 109
LAC 96 Final
Dal 106