Pistons Beat Indiana Win 7th Straight

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

DETROIT (AP) -- Jarvis Hayes can't imagine that food poisoning helped his game Friday night.
He doesn't have a better explanation, though.
Hayes, who has been sick since Detroit's flight back from New Jersey on Wednesday, scored 13 points in the second quarter to help the Pistons post their seventh straight victory, 114-101 over the Indiana Pacers.
"I'm not sure what caused that -- it's the best shooting game I've had all month," he said. "I got an easy layup when I first got into the game, and it all went right from there."
Hayes scored 10 points, including a pair of 3-pointers, in the first five minutes of the quarter as Detroit moved out to a 20-point lead. He got sick again at halftime and didn't return to the game, but it didn't matter.
"He was hitting everything, so we wanted to keep getting him the ball," Chauncey Billups said. "We don't care who is knocking down shots -- we're going with the hot guy."
The Pistons scored a season-high 40 points in the period, and had 69 in the second and third quarters combined.
"When we get it going, we're as good as any team out there," Billups said. "We were making the extra pass tonight, and that was getting us a lot of good looks."
Richard Hamilton led Detroit with 23 points, nine assists and four steals, while Tayshaun Price scored 15 points and Billups had 14.
"That was one of Rip's best all-around games," Detroit coach Flip Saunders said. "We've stressed to him that when he's that active defensively, he's more efficient shooting-wise. He gets a feel of everything."
The Pacers have the unenviable task of facing the streaking Pistons again on Saturday. Detroit has won 14 of 16, while Indiana has lost three of four.
"Obviously, this is a tough matchup for us," said Indiana coach Jim O'Brien. "Prince is tough for any team to defend, and he got the best of Michael (Dunleavy) tonight, and Rip certainly got the best of Danny (Granger)."
Jermaine O'Neal, playing on a sore knee, led the Pacers with 25 and Troy Murphy scored 12, but no other Indiana starter reached double figures. The Pacers committed 13 turnovers in the first half, including four by Dunleavy.
"They are a superior basketball team, and you can't give them extra opportunities by turning the ball over," O'Brien said. "Those were really unforced errors."
Detroit led 64-41 at the half, and only O'Neal's 12 points in the third quarter kept Indiana from being routed.
"You can't give up 40 points in a quarter and expect to be in the game," Murphy said. "They're great, but we don't want to think this was our best effort tonight. Hopefully, we can give them our best tomorrow."
Hamilton's 13 points in the period made it 93-70 going into the fourth, and the Pacers never threatened in a sloppy final period.

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