Auburn Hills, MI (SportsNetwork.com) - In a physical matchup between division foes, Paul George scored 31 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead the Indiana Pacers to a 99-91 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday.
C.J. Watson added 15 points and David West scored 12 with eight rebounds. Lance Stephenson had 10 points, seven assists and six rebounds to help the Pacers to their first 4-0 start in nine years. They also picked up their sixth straight win over Detroit.
Brandon Jennings, in his second game with the Pistons, led the team with 17 points and six assists. Josh Smith added 16 points and seven rebounds and Greg Monroe scored 14 and grabbed 10 boards for Detroit, which is now 2-2.
"Real quality win against a really good basketball team -- a team that I think will make the playoffs this year. They have monster size and great guards," said Pacers coach Frank Vogel.
The Pacers led 74-63 going into the fourth quarter but Detroit started strong with a 9-2 run to bring the game within four points, but that was as close as the Pistons would get in the last nine-plus minutes.
Indiana came back strong during the next five minutes to push its lead to 19 at 94-75. Detroit got within five points with 32 seconds left before Watson found West for an easy layup and a seven-point Pacers lead with 16.6 seconds to play, sealing the win.
"That's how the NBA is, you can get up big and then the other team can come back and win the game," said George on battling back during first half. "It just takes maturity and determination to grind down and get a win."
The teams traded runs throughout the game. During the first quarter the Pacers had a 23-6 streak to take a 29-14 lead into the second.
Detroit outscored the Pacers 27-9 in the second quarter for a 41-38 halftime lead.
Indiana started the third on a 17-5 run and didn't relinquish the lead the remainder of the game.
"I wouldn't say (I'm) pleased. You're never pleased if you lose the game, number one, and number two, I thought they were aggressive," said Pistons coach Maurice Cheeks. "They got to the penalty. We didn't get to the penalty. I think those are huge differences in the game. They make shots to get to the penalty and make a few foul shots here and there. It paid dividends for them."
Roy Hibbert had eight points, seven blocked shots and 10 rebounds for Indiana ... Kyle Singler added 13 points for Detroit ... Pistons forward Charlie Villanueva was out with a shoulder injury and is listed day-to-day ... Indiana's Danny Granger is still out with a strained calf and George Hill sat out for his second straight game with a sore hip.