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Stackhouse takes charge down the stretch

1/18/2002

INDIANPOLIS (AP) -- Jerry Stackhouse and Cliff Robinson weren't going to let a 19-point lead on the road go to waste without doing something about it.

Stackhouse scored 17 of his 32 points in the second half and Robinson added 27 as the Detroit Pistons beat the Indiana Pacers 96-93 Friday night to snap an 11-game road losing streak.

Robinson put the Pistons ahead on a 5-footer in the paint with 30 seconds left that gave Detroit a 91-89 lead. The Pacers trailed 94-91 but Reggie Miller's baseline 3-point attempt was blocked by Ben Wallace with six seconds left.

The Pacers got the ball back and Miller again tried to tie it with a 3 for nearly the identical spot. This time, he was fouled by Wallace, but the referee said Miller was inside the 3-point arc.

Miller made both free throws, but Stackhouse added two free throws and the Pistons held on for their first road win since Dec. 1 at New York.

Stackhouse and Robinson combined for 16 points in the fourth.

"I guess that's what I'm supposed to do," Stackhouse said. "Sometimes I get going in the first half and I just want it every time. Then we've got to run something else to spread the game and keep a good flow. We got away from it a little bit, but when we really needed it the ball found me and I was able to make the plays."

Pistons coach Rick Carlisle said Stackhouse and Robinson made the difference in the fourth quarter.

"They're our two best players," Carlisle said. "We just had to get the ball in their hands. The plays were being made through those two guys down the stretch."

Jalen Rose scored 31 and Miller had 20 for the Pacers, who have
lost four straight.

The Pistons led by 19 in the third quarter and took a five-point
lead into the fourth. But the Pacers went ahead 82-81 on Rose's
jumper with 5 1/2 minutes left.

The Pacers led by four, but a 17-footer by Stackhouse and a
basket by Robinson tied it at 87. Rose and Stackhouse exchanged
baskets until Robinson put the Pistons ahead for good.

The Pacers had one last chance to tie the game but Jeff Foster,
who scored 13, missed a desperation 3 as time expired.

"That was the first time I've taken a 3-pointer to try to tie or win the game," he said.

Detroit led 60-41 midway through the third, but the Pacers
closed on a 25-11 run. Indiana shot 62 percent in the third. Al
Harrington's putback as the quarter expired made it 71-66.

Even as the lead evaporated, Carlisle felt the Pistons would
hold on.

"I felt even when it was slipping away that we would hang in there and win," he said. "It was our time to do something special."

The Pistons outscored Indiana 32-17 in the second quarter and
led 53-35 at the half.

The Pacers have made a habit this season of coming back from
double-digit deficits. They beat Atlanta when they were down by 22
and New York when they trailed by 20. Pacers coach Isiah Thomas
said they need to stop the pattern of slow starts.

"The first 24 minutes we didn't come out with any energy," he said. "There's no excuse to come out and play like that in the first half."

Game notes
Carlisle was a Pacers assistant from 1997-2000. He was a
finalist for the Pacers job that went to Isiah Thomas. ... Pacers
center Jermaine O'Neal missed his second straight game with a knee
injury. O'Neal will miss games on Saturday and Monday and will be
re-evaluated next week. Without O'Neal the Pacers tied a league
record with only one offensive rebound... Miller became the 19th
player in NBA history to score 22,000 career points. Miller hit a
jumper three minutes into the second half to reach the milestone.
... Retired San Diego Padres great Tony Gwynn was honored in a
halftime ceremony. Gwynn lives just north of Indianapolis and is a
Pacers and WNBA Indiana Fever season-ticket holder. ...The Pacers
haven't lost five straight since December 1993.