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News » Board meeting goes awry

Board meeting goes awry

Board meeting goes awry
INDIANAPOLIS -- On the opening tipoff, the Indiana Pacers took four shots at the basket before they scored.

It would serve as an omen for what the Detroit Pistons were in store for Saturday, as Indiana's dominance on the offensive boards in the first half played a major role in Detroit's 106-102 loss.

The Pistons gave up 14 offensive rebounds in the first half, which led to 22 points for the Pacers.

"We shot about 55 percent in the first half," said Pistons coach Michael Curry, whose team trailed 52-49 at the half. "We should have been up."

Despite their troubles on the boards, the Pistons still had a chance to steal a victory in the closing minutes.

But last-second shots by Rasheed Wallace and a turnover by Tayshaun Prince led to Detroit's winning streak being snapped at three games.

With the loss, the Pistons (39-41) will finish without a winning record for the first time since 2001.

The loss also dealt a major blow to Detroit's efforts to move up from their No. 8 playoff seed.

"There is no worst-case scenario for us, the way we've been playing all year," Pistons forward Tayshaun Prince said. "Best-case scenario is that we're in the playoffs. Hopefully, we can go in there and do some damage. I don't think about being an eighth seed. Any situation would have been tough for us, the way we've been playing, the ups and downs we've had all season."

Pistons guard Richard Hamilton added: "We're already near the bottom in the playoffs and we can't worry about who we play. We just need to know that we made it to the playoffs and we need to make a run."

Part of Detroit's struggles had to do with the absence of Kwame Brown, who was a late-game scratch because of a left hamstring injury he suffered against New Jersey on Friday.

Brown said the hamstring was not responding as well as he would have liked when he tested it out before Saturday's game.

"I couldn't run, I couldn't jump," he said.

Even with Brown, Prince said the Pistons still would have had trouble keeping the Pacers off the boards.

"Kwame is obviously a big body," Prince said. "He can give us that presence on the glass. They spread your bigs out and get them away from the basket. For most of the night, they had Sheed away from the basket trying to do pick-and-rolls.

"We don't know, but if Kwame were in the game, they would probably try and get him away from the basket knowing that him and Dice are our main two rebounders."

The Pistons' struggles to rebound early factored into their inability to get off to a fast start, which they had done in their two previous games.

Both teams went back and fourth, with neither leading by more than six points before the Pacers settled on a 28-27 lead.

The one-point margin in Indiana's favor came courtesy of a free throw made by Granger after Rasheed Wallace was whistled for a technical foul, his 17th this season. If he picks up another technical on Monday against Chicago, the mandatory one-game suspension would mean he would have to sit out the regular-season finale Wednesday at Miami.

But Detroit had bigger problems than worrying about opponents down the road.

Indiana, which already has been eliminated from playoff contention, played like a team with purpose.

After a close first quarter, the Pacers opened the second with a 7-0 run that led to Curry calling a timeout at the 10:38 mark.

It seemed to be just what his team needed, as Detroit scored six in a row to cut Indiana's lead to 35-33.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: April 14, 2009


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