Pistons Beat Pacers

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Tayshaun Prince scored 24 points, and the Detroit Pistons beat Indiana 100-85 on Tuesday night to guarantee the Pacers their first losing season in a decade.

Richard Hamilton scored 19 points and Chris Webber added 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Pistons. Detroit forward Rasheed Wallace hyperextended the pointer finger on his left (non-shooting) hand in the first half and played just a few possessions after the break.

Indiana's Jermaine O'Neal had 20 points and seven rebounds after sitting out Sunday's game against San Antonio with a sore left knee. Mike Dunleavy scored 15 points and Jamaal Tinsley added 10 assists. The Pacers upset San Antonio on Sunday, but couldn't pull off back-to-back victories over two of the league's best teams.

The Pacers (32-42) last had a losing season in 1996-97, when they went 39-43. That also was the last time they missed the playoffs. The Pacers fell two games behind Orlando for the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference with eight games left.

Detroit won for the fifth time in six games and moved a step closer to clinching the top seed in the East. The Pistons started the day 3 1/2 games in front of Cleveland.

The Pistons trailed by 14 points in the second quarter, but outrebounded the Pacers 25-16 in the second half. The Pacers shot 54 percent in the first half, but led just 46-43 at the break.

Detroit tied the game on a jumper by Hamilton with 7:38 left in the third quarter, but the Pacers regained the lead on a layup by Dunleavy.

Detroit responded with a 20-7 run to take a 74-62 lead. Chauncey Billups hit a jumper at the buzzer to make it 78-64 at the end of the third quarter.

Prince punctuated the victory with an emphatic dunk over O'Neal with just over 6 minutes left that gave Detroit a 92-74 lead.

Game notes
Indiana C Jeff Foster sat out with back spasms. He came out in the first quarter Sunday against San Antonio after grabbing nine rebounds. ... Detroit C Dale Davis, a former Pacer, played one minute and did not score. ... The Pacers made nine of their first 11 shots to take a 20-6 lead.

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