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Pistons pace Indy

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From the Freep:

For the first 12 minutes Tuesday night, Rasheed Wallace looked like the late-January, hard-to-excite Rasheed Wallace. For the last 36, he looked like the Wallace who could be named an All-Star.

Wallace finished with 24 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks -- including a big one in the final minute -- in a dominating show against the Indiana Pacers. The Pistons won it, 110-104.

"I told the staff, that's what really pisses you off, when you see him play like that for three quarters," coach Flip Saunders said. "Everyone knows he's got the ability to do that night in and night out."

He really was pretty amazing, making 10 of 18 shots, including five straight in the final 4:30 of the second quarter that brought the Pistons from down 10 to up two at the half. The Pistons had a huge advantage with Jermaine O'Neal sidelined and Wallace definitely took advantage. Like Saunders said, the trick is somehow convincing him to do this all of the time.

With Wallace dominating up front, Chauncey Billups and Rip Hamilton only combined for 28 points, but that was fine given the help Detroit (finally) received from the bench. Jarvis Hayes has emerged from his slump at least temporarily, shooting 5-6 from the field to finish with 13 points.

And while Jason Maxiell tallied only three points and two boards, Amir Johnson chipped in seven and six, respectively, including this impressive put-back. Yes, Johnson is still struggling with his fouls, getting whistled three times in almost 14 minutes, but for what it's worth he only had one in his first 10 minutes of play, which certainly helped his cause to stay on the floor.

All in all, for a midweek game against a bottom-feeder in the division, this was actually a pretty enjoyable affair. It's not often you see the Pistons score 110 points, let alone with such varied contributions -- even Rodney Stuckey looked comfortable, staying aggressive for most of the game. And now, things will start to get a bit easier heading into the All-Star break, at least in terms of staying in one place. After playing 10 of their last 14 on the road, the Pistons are at home for five straight, starting with the Lakers on Thursday.

Pistons 110, Pacers 104 box score [NBA.com]
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