Game Rewind: Pacers 96, Pistons 118
It was Star Wars night at the Palace at Auburn Hills, and the Force was clearly with Detroit, as the Pistons took care of the visiting Indiana Pacers 118-96. One day after limiting the Miami Heat to 83 points, the Pacers struggled mightily on defense. The Pistons’ offense was efficient, shooting 50% from the floor and knocking down 13 3-pointers in the rout.
“Tonight was a disappointing effort on the defensive end,” Pacers head coach Frank Vogel said. “We didn’t get back well enough. We didn’t talk and match up well enough. They were the more determined team tonight. Give them credit.”
The early stages of the game were close as the first quarter was a back-and-forth affair. The Pacers closed the period on a 10-2 run to take a 29-28 lead into the second.
Indiana grew its lead to six early in the period, but Detroit rallied with a 10-0 run to take a 46-42 lead. Near the end of the quarter, Detroit’s offense continued to shine as the Pistons orchestrated an 11-0 run, highlighted by triples from Reggie Jackson, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Ersan Ilyasova, to lead 66-55 at halftime.
In the third, Indiana’s defensive problems escalated. Detroit outscored Indiana 16-7 out of the gate to push its lead to 19. From there, Detroit continued to get great looks and easy buckets, and when the third was said and done, Detroit had scored 37 points in the quarter and held a 102-79 advantage.
The fourth quarter was of little consequence as the Pacers couldn’t make a significant cut into Detroit’s substantial lead.
“They just played with energy, they pushed the tempo; they pushed the pace,” Pacers forward Paul George said. ” Once they figured out that’s a way to gain an advantage they went with it. We couldn’t stop them in the half court or in the fast break game which made it even tougher.”
Indiana had no answer for Jackson. The reigning Eastern Conference Player of the Week dominated the game with 21 points and nine assists. Ilyasova added 20 points and five rebounds and Caldwell-Pope contributed 18 points, seven rebounds, eight assists and four steals.
For Indiana, George Hill was the leading scorer with 14 points. Paul George had a hard time finding the bottom of the net, finishing with 13 points on just 4-of-16 shooting.
“We’re just playing poorly on back-to-backs right now.” -Paul George
by Kyle Grand