INDIANAPOLIS -- It looked like the Detroit Pistons were headed to yet another fourth-quarter collapse.
An early 11-point lead early in the fourth quarter against the Eastern Conference power Indiana Pacers had shrunk to two points at 96-94 after Lance Stephenson triple with 1:17 left tonight at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Smith's two free throws with 56.8 seconds left and an emphatic blocked shot of the Pacers' David West allowed the Pistons (12-14) to escape with a 101-96 victory against the team with the best record in the Eastern Conference.
Just one night earlier the Pistons suffered a crushing defeat against the Portland Trail Blazers, the Western Conference's best team, when Damian Lillard hit a game-winner in overtime.
But the Pistons wouldn't be denied this night.
Smith, who scored 30 points, gave the Pistons an 87-77 lead with 8:11 remaining on a triple.
But the Pacers (20-4) fought back and after Stephenson's triple it looked like they would blow another one.
But Smith was able to pick up a loose ball and get fouled and his two free throws gave the Pistons a 99-96 lead with 56.8 seconds left.
The Pacers ran a play for David West, who drove it to the basket. But Smith smacked the ball off the backboard.
Brandon Jennings, who earlier knocked down a key triple, made 3 of 4 free throws and the Pistons got a much-needed confidence builder.
The Pistons were able to limit Pacers standout Paul George to 17 points on 4-for-14 shooting. Smith and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope did most of the handiwork. Stephenson led the Pacers with 23 points.
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