The Pacers have won eight of their last 10 and have taken their last three by a combined 90 points, including a 34-point win over the Knicks on Wednesday. Indiana passed New York in the Eastern Conference standings on Friday and sits alone in second place behind the Miami Heat.
All five Indiana starters scored in double figures, while rookie reserve Orlando Johnson netted all 14 of his points in the first half.
The Central Division leaders shot 56 percent from the floor, held Detroit to 35 percent shooting and led by as many as 43 points.
Detroit had four players finish with double-digit scoring efforts, as Will Bynum led the way with 17 points.
The Pistons, playing their third game in four days since the All-Star break, trailed by double digits over the final 42:17.
The Pacers scored 13 of the game’s first 15 points and added another 13-1 run later in the opening frame to take a 26-9 lead. They recorded their highest scoring first quarter of the season by shooting 12-of-18 (67 percent) from the floor and were ahead by a healthy 34-17 cushion.
Johnson, a second-round pick in last year’s draft out of UC-Santa Barbara, got in on the act early in the second when he hit two 3-pointers, the second coming on a 9-0 spurt that extended the lead to 46-21 near the midway point.
The margin reached 28 late in the half, and it was a 60-36 game at halftime.
Things stayed one-sided after the break as the Pistons missed their first 10 shots and trailed by as many as 40 after Paul George’s 3-pointer made it an 88-48 rout near the final minute of the third.
Notes: These teams play again on Saturday in Detroit, and the Pacers can sweep the season series for the first time since the 2009-10 campaign … George Hill and George scored 15 and 12 points, respectively, while Lance Stephenson and Roy Hibbert rounded out Indiana’s starters with 10 points apiece … Detroit has lost 10 straight in Indianapolis since last winning there on Jan. 29, 2008 … The Pistons have alternated wins and losses over the past six … Pistons point guard Brandon Knight did not play due to a hyperextended right knee … All 24 players that saw playing time scored at least one point.
“I’m very, very pleased with how our guys are approaching the post All-star break. They have incredible focus and energy. Our offense is really coming. (On Orlando Johnson) He’s a testament to a tremendous attitude, and extremely hard work. He’s the first one here and the last to leave. He watches film and pays attention in meetings. He has great desire to learn and improve. He’s not coming out of the rotation in the immediate future. (On Lance Stephenson) He’s playing at an incredible level right now. What he’s been doing to our tempo, pushing the ball is something.”
“The thing we can still clean up is taking care of the ball, but we’re doing a great job of really defending and playing for one another. 29 assists, that’s pretty impressive. (On the challenge of playing Detroit on Saturday) This is our fourth game (against Detroit) now so that gets even tougher. Playing them back to back I know they’ll be well adjusted. It should be a different type of game.”
“We’ve just been playing extremely hard. We’re taking this very seriously. We’ve been sharing the ball and just being good teammates. It’s a hot potato out there and everybody is getting a touch. In the first quarter, everything was clicking for us on the offensive end. We were moving the ball well and were out running. (On the starters getting some rest in the fourth quarter) It’s good. I like to see my teammates put in work who usually don’t get to play that much. I know they put lot of work in and it’s good to see them get a chance.”