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Pacers 118, Pistons 111

February 24, 2000

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) _ Rik Smits returned to the Indiana lineup with a season-high 29 points and added nine rebounds as the Pacers beat the Detroit Pistons 118-111 Wednesday night.

Indiana got Smits back after he missed three games with a sore back, but lost Dale Davis in the first quarter. Davis was given two technical fouls by referee Mike Mathis after arguing a three-second violation.

Reggie Miller and Jalen Rose each scored 23 and Austin Croshere had 18 points off the bench as the Pacers won for the sixth time in seven games. Mark Jackson had six points and 14 assists.

Grant Hill led Detroit with 24 and Lindsey Hunter had 20, but the Pistons lost for the fourth time in five games.

Indiana got 19 from Smits in the first half, but trailed 56-55. Smits had eight more in the third, and Indiana took a 84-82 lead on Miller’s 3-pointer with less than a second left in the quarter.

Miller’s shot inspired his teammates, as Croshere and Sam Perkins started the fourth with consecutive 3-pointers, giving the Pacers a 90-82 edge.

Detroit rallied for a 97-96 lead on Christian Laettner’s two free throws with 6:13 to play. Indiana responded by scoring the next seven points.

Hill’s dunk closed the Pistons to 108-105 with 2:11 left, but he missed a free throw that could have made it a three-point play.

Miller scored the next four points, moving the lead to seven with just 1:08 to play.

Notes: Indiana won for just the second time in six games against Detroit. ... Eric Montross matched a season-high with 15 minutes as Detroit tried to stop Smits. ... Lindsey Hunter hit a 60-foot shot at the end of the third quarter, but it came after the buzzer had sounded.

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