Rewind: Pacers vs. Detroit 111231
Dec. 31, 2011 at The Palace of Auburn Hills
Game Rewind: Pistons 96, Pacers 88
For the fourth time in four games, the Pacers shot less than 40 percent. For the first time, they were unable to do everything -- or anything -- else well enough to compensate.
With all five starters scoring in double figures, Detroit built a 17-point fourth-quarter lead and then made just enough plays to hold off an Indiana rally as the Pistons picked up their first victory of the season, 96-88, Saturday in The Palace of Auburn Hills.
Indiana shot a season-high .395 and dropped the opener of a four-game road trip to fall to 3-1. Tyler Hansbrough and George Hill scored 16 apiece to lead the Pacers.
Jonas Jerebko had 20 points and 12 rebounds and Greg Monroe 19 points and 11 rebounds for the Pistons.
BY THE NUMBERS
In a nearly complete turnabout from their opening-night victory, when all three frontcourt players recorded double-doubles, the Pacers could not establish an inside presence. Hansbrough and Hill each had five rebounds off the bench. Darren Collison scored 15 with eight assists. Danny Granger scored 11 but shot 4-of-15, and David West scored 10 with five rebounds and shot 4-of-11. Roy Hibbert, who had double-doubles in the first three games, had nine points and five rebounds. The Pacers, who entered the game leading the NBA in rebounding, were beaten 49-36 on the boards by the Pistons, who ranked 29th.
Jerebko's mobility was a problem all night long for the Pacers as he shot 8-of-14 overall, 3-of-4 from the arc. Monroe shot 8-of-12 and had four assists. Ben Gordon scored 16, Rodney Stuckey 15 and Tayshaun Prince 12 for the Pistons, who shot 47.6 percent and had 25 assists but 18 turnovers.
Pacers Coach Frank Vogel: "Hats off to Detroit,they were aggressive tonight. Jerebko and Monroe outplayed our frontcourt."
Vogel: "I just don’t think we executed well offensively. I don’t think we can use legs as an excuse because our whole season is going to be played on a back to back."
Hansbrough: "You can make excuses saying we got three games in four nights or whatever but we just didn’t show up. Obviously we have a lot of things we need to improve on. We didn’t come out with the energy we needed or we didn’t come out there like we needed to. Just from the start we were sluggish and slow."
Monroe: "You just get tired of some things. You want to get into that win column real bad and some point we all have to take accountability personally and as a team we have to come together and find a way to win."
STAT OF THE GAME
The Pacers' starters were outscored 82-52 and outrebounded 37-22 by their Detroit counterparts.
Detroit broke the game open in the third period with a 12-2 run that built a 76-58 lead. It was 87-70 early in the fourth when the Pacers put together their best run of the game, 12-3, to cut the lead to 89-82 with 4:30 remaining. But Prince deflated that burst with a corner 3-pointer to make it a 10-point game again.
The Pacers scored six in a row in the closing minutes to make it 94-88 and had a chance to put real pressure on the Pistons when Danny Granger came up with a steal but, with two teammates streaking upcourt on the break, Paul George under-threw the lead pass and Jerebko intercepted to secure the victory.
Out-shot and out-hustled throughout the first half, the Pacers were fortunate to be down just 52-44 at the break. Though they entered the game as the NBA's top rebounding team while Detroit ranked 29th, the Pacers were beaten 26-21 on the boards. The Pistons shot 48 percent and had 16 assists on 22 buckets. The Pacers, on the other hand, shot 37 percent and had just eight assists on 14 field goals.
Jerebko was constantly in motion and proved a tough cover for the Pacers' less mobile power forwards, racking up 16 points in the half, but Indiana's defensive lapses weren't limited to the frontcourt. The Pacers' starters were outscored 46-28 in the half.
After battling Cleveland for a 98-91 overtime victory Friday at home, the Pacers had a late arrival in Detroit due to weather delays, reaching the team hotel at roughly 3:30 a.m. The Pistons experienced similar problems returning from their loss in Boston. … The Pacers were without big men Jeff Foster (sore lower back) and Jeff Pendergraph (sprained right knee). Pendergraph, who returned to practice Thursday, could make his first game appearance next week. … Charlie Villanueva returned one game earlier than expected when the NBA reduced his suspension from five to four games due to the shortened season.
The longest road trip of the year, four games in seven nights, continues Monday in New Jersey against Deron Williams and the Nets (7:30 p.m., Fox Sports Indiana, WIBC 93 FM). With center Brook Lopez out for six weeks with a broken right foot, power forward Kris Humphries is carrying a bigger load of the inside game for New Jersey. The Nets (1-3) take a three-game losing streak into Cleveland Sunday night.