Notebook: Pacers 88, Pistons 77

Posted Dec 15, 2012 11:40 PM

By Dana Gauruder, For

THE FACTS: Power forward David West scored a game-high 23 points as the Indiana Pacers defeated the Detroit Pistons 88-77 at The Palace of Auburn Hills on Saturday night. George Hill, coming off his first career triple-double, contributed 18 points and seven assists. Paul George added 15 points, eight rebounds, eight assists and four steals for the Pacers (13-11), who won their third straight. Greg Monroe had 18 points and eight rebounds for the Pistons (7-19), who lost their fourth straight and sixth in the last seven games.

QUOTABLE: "I told [Paul George] it's not always about scoring. When your scoring is not there, impact the game in other ways as far as rebounding, making great passes and locking your opponent down on the defensive end. That shows the true definition of a great player. He was upset at himself for missing some shots but like I told him, that's what makes a great player, when you do other things. That's what he did today."

-- George Hill

THE STAT: 55.9. The Pacers are ranked No. 1 in the league defensively in terms of points allowed and field-goal percentage, but their offensive efficiency was on display during the second half. They shot 55.9 percent from the field, making 19 of their 34 shots. West scored 19 of his points after halftime and Hill had 10, while George was the main playmaker with six assists.

TURNING POINT: Clinging to a 68-66 advantage, the Pacers reeled off 11 unanswered points to take command. West was the driving force, scoring seven of the points on a free throw, a post-up move and two midrange jumpers. Hill added a 3-point shot during that stretch.

QUOTABLE II: "We're just trying to be solid early on. We were having difficulty winning games and we understand if we play solid defensively, we'll give ourselves a chance to win. We've been dependent on that throughout the year. When our offense is down, we've been able to rely on our togetherness defensively."

-- David West on Indiana's top-ranked defense

HOT: Pacers forward Tyler Hansbrough always gives the Pistons fits and Saturday was no exception. He had 11 of the Pacers' 19 bench points, and added six rebounds. He averaged 14.7 points and 8.7 rebounds against the Pistons last season.

NOT: Detroit's Tayshaun Prince looked like a 32-year old small forward going on 40 Saturday, while playing the second game of a back-to-back. He had just four points, no assists and one rebound while committing three turnovers. He had 12 points, 10 rebounds and six assists in a double-overtime loss to New Jersey Friday.

ROOKIE WATCH: Detroit center Andre Drummond continues to make a strong impression. He had 11 points, nine rebounds and three blocks in 29 minutes. Starting guard Kyle Singler had seven points on 3-for-9 shooting and is averaging just 6.1 points in the last seven games.

NOTABLE: Pacers center Roy Hibbert suffered a left thigh injury blocking a Monroe shot in the final minute of the first half and did not return. ... Starting guard Lance Stephenson missed his second consecutive game with a sprained right ankle. Coach Frank Vogel said Stephenson could return for Tuesday's road game at Milwaukee. ... Rodney Stuckey added 15 points and a team-high seven assists for Detroit, but starting point guard Brandon Knight was held to 14 points, the first time he failed to reach 20 points in six games. ... Detroit had won 10 of its last 13 at home against Indiana. ... The Pistons' 7-18 record entering the game tied their second-worst start after 25 games in franchise history. They were 5-20 last season and also had 7-18 records in 1962-63, 1963-64 and 2010-11.

UP NEXT: For the Pacers, Tuesday @ Milwaukee, Wednesday vs. Utah, Friday @ Cleveland. For the Pistons, Monday vs. L.A. Clippers, Wednesday @ Toronto, Friday vs. Washington.