Roy Hibbert goes up strong against Detroit's Austin Daye. (NBAE/Getty Images)
|GAME STATS||FAN BLOG||PHOTO GALLERY||
Pacers force overtime but lose in Detroit
By Conrad Brunner
It seemed as if the Pacers had all the momentum heading into overtime.
Instead, they ran into a wall.
After wiping out a 10-point deficit in the final 4 minutes to force the extra session, the Pacers made just one basket the rest of the way and fell 115-109 to the Pistons in their final game before the All-Star break Wednesday in the Palace of Auburn Hills, Mich.
Roy Hibbert tied his career-high with 29 points for the Pacers while Danny Granger added 28.
Tayshaun Prince led Detroit with 25.
Another first for Frank Vogel: a losing streak. Indiana has dropped two in a row to fall to 24-30 overall, 9-18 on the road. The Pacers also had a six-game win streak against the Pistons come to an end. Still, the Pacers hold eighth in the East. Detroit snapped a four-game home losing streak and improved to 21-36 overall, 14-15 at the Palace.
- This loss is part of the process of changing your identity, changing the identity of a team mid-season. I knew the risk of restructuring our offense and neglecting the defensive work that we needed to be a good defensive team and I knew it was going to bite us sometime. And it reared its ugly head tonight. We played hard defensively, but not very smart." Vogel
- "Our offense was clicking, Hibbert was dominant in the post, Granger was highly efficient, D.C. (Darren Collison) had nine assists and only three turnovers. I was happy with our effort, was happy with the offensive end, we just arent as tied together defensively as we need to be right now and that is on me and part of the process. -- Vogel
- We didnt have it tonight. Sometimes teams have a tendency to be on vacation already when you still have one more game to play in. We didnt want to go into the break losing like this. We didnt come out strong, they got the lead and that is why you lose in this league. Granger
STAT OF THE GAME
In the first quarters of their last two games, the Pacers yielded 74 points on 31-of-46 shooting, an astonishing 67.4 percent.
Taking full advantage of the potential for tired legs from the Pacers, who played a draining game in a 110-103 loss to Miami on Tuesday, Detroit jumped all over the visitors early. Prince was red-hot out of the gate, hitting his first seven shots as Miami's Dwyane Wade made his first eight the night before as the Pistons built a 39-27 lead early in the second quarter.
Dahntay Jones scored the Pacers' first 11 of the second period as they cut into the lead but the Pacers struggled mightily on the defense end as the Pistons racked up 60 points and a five-point lead at the break.
Hibbert was dominant in the third quarter, scoring 12 points as the Pacers continued to challenge Detroit but the Pistons converted eight offensive rebounds into 12 second-chance points in the period to maintain the lead.
Detroit led 98-88 with 4:45 remaining in the fourth quarter when Josh McRoberts gave the Pacers life with a couple of highlight-reel dunks in a 9-0 run that cut the deficit to 98-97 with 2:43 remaining.
Prince scored four in a row to make it a five-point game but Granger banked in a 3-pointer and Hibbert scored inside to make it 104-102. After a Ben Gordon miss, Collison beat the defense back for the tying layup with 15.4 seconds left. Granger and Collison then combined to deny Prince a good look at the bucket on the Pistons' final possession of regulation.
On their first five possessions of overtime, the Pacers managed a pair of free throws, three missed shots and two turnovers and fell behind 112-106. Another Granger 3-pointer cut the deficit in half but Rodney Stuckey backed Collison deep into the lane for a bucket. The Indiana point guard tried to answer at the other end but missed a short jumper in the lane and that was that.
BY THE NUMBERS
Hibbert shot 12-of-23, adding nine rebounds, three assists and two blocks to his 29 points. Granger shot 11-of-16, including 2-of-5 from the arc, with five rebounds and three assists but four turnovers with his 28. McRoberts had his first double-double of the season with 15 points on 7-of-8 shooting and 12 rebounds and Jones scored 11 on 5-of-6 shooting off the bench. The second unit was outscored 44-28.
Prince finished 11-of-16, with 11 rebounds in addition to his 25 points. Stuckey had 18 points and six assists, Gordon 16, Tracy McGrady 15, Greg Monroe 13 and Chris Wilcox 12 for the Pistons, who shot .515.
- The Pacers scored at least 100 points for the 10th straight game, the longest streak in the NBA this season.
- Paul George played despite a sore groin and did not score.
- The Pacers dropped to 3-19 when they trail after three quarters.
- This was the second overtime of the season for the Pacers, who also lost 110-106 to Oklahoma City on Nov. 26. It was the seventh overtime and fifth win for the Pistons.
- Detroit's 33-point first quarter was their high for any period this season.
- Jeff Foster missed the game with a sprained ankle suffered Tuesday night in the 110-103 loss to Miami. Solomon Jones played for the first time in 10 games, going scoreless with five rebounds in 12 minutes.
- Detroit's Richard Hamilton missed his sixth straight game with a sore groin.
With no participants in any of the NBA All-Star Weekend events, the Pacers get five days off before returning to action next Tuesday in Washington against the Wizards (7 p.m., Fox Sports Indiana, WIBC 93 FM).