Auburn Hills, MI (SportsNetwork.com) - Rodney Stuckey scored eight of his 24 points in the fourth quarter as the Indiana Pacers edged the Detroit Pistons, 107-103, at the Palace of Auburn Hills.
Stuckey averaged only 8.7 points in the three previous matchups against the team that drafted him, but Detroit could not slow him down or keep Indiana from keeping pace in the playoff race. The win was the fourth in a row for the Pacers, who remain one game out of the playoff picture behind the seventh place tie between Boston and Brooklyn. C.J.Miles knocked down 5-of-9 attempts from beyond the arc en route to 24 points for Indiana, which received 10 points in 14 minutes from Paul George.
"This is probably the toughest part of our season because of the circumstances," said George. "Every game counts right now. If we take care of our business, hopefully it results in the playoffs."
Reggie Jackson scored 21 points and handed out nine assists for Detroit. Greg Monroe registered a double-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds, while Andre Drummond tallied 11 points and 15 boards.
The Pistons led, 96-95, with 3:39 remaining in regulation before Stuckey scored six consecutive points on mid-range jumpers to give Indiana a lasting lead. George Hill converted all six of his attempts at the charity stripe over the final 1:21 of the game to seal the decision.
Jackson got off to a terrific start, scoring 12 of his points in the first quarter. However, the rest of Detroit combined to shoot only 4-of-14 from the field in the opening 12 minutes of the contest.
"I felt like we played well and competed," said Jackson. "I'm happy with the way we came out against this test, I just wish we could have come out on top."
The Pacers went into the second period leading, 23-21, and managed to extend their lead to as many as nine before halftime. Indiana struggled on the glass before the break, as it was outrebounded by the hosts, 26-18, in the first half. George drained a 3-point try in the closing seconds of the second stanza to send the Pacers into halftime with a 51-47 lead.
Detroit showed signs of life after the intermission and used an 8-0 run to take its first lead of the contest with 7:44 left until the fourth quarter. Ian Mahinmi beat the buzzer at the end of the third quarter with a putback layup that evened the score at 79.
Indiana will play its next two games at home versus Oklahoma City and Washington before its regular season finale at Memphis on April 15 ... Indiana is now 5-1 in its last six visits to The Palace of Auburn Hills ... Jackson fouled out with 1:21 remaining ... C.J. Watson missed his third straight game with a sore elbow ... Hill finished with 13 points and nine assists ... David West supplied 10 points and nine assists for Indiana ... Kentavious Caldwell- Pope and Jodie Meeks contributed 16 and 15 points, respectively, for Detroit.