Player of the Game
Broke out of a brief slump with 25 points on 9-of-17 shooting, adding six rebounds, two steals and a blocked shot.
Fast-break points: Pacers 18, Pistons 17
Second-chance points: Pacers 16, Pacers 12
Points off turnovers: Pistons 18, Pacers 17
Starters scoring: Pacers 71, Pistons 36
Bench scoring: Pistons 47, Pacers 36
Stat of the Night
With a rookie and two second-year players in the starting lineup, the Pacers got a glimpse into the future Friday night. And the present wasn't so bad, either. Danny Granger scored 25 to lead six scorers in double figures (two with double-doubles) as the Pacers rolled to their most lopsided victory of the season, 107-83, over the Pistons before 14,832 in Conseco Fieldhouse on a snowy Friday night.
Rookie A.J. Priced started his first game at point guard (Earl Watson was out, attending his grandmother's funeral), joining second-year starters Roy Hibbert and Brandon Rush. But the night wasn't all about the young guys. Veteran T.J. Ford, banished to the end of the bench since Dec. 30, played well in his first appearance since then, scoring 11 points with five assists.
The Pacers won their second in a row to improve to 18-32 and move past Philadelphia into 11th place in the East, six games behind eighth-place Miami. They're 12-13 at home. The Pistons lost for the sixth time in seven games and dropped to 16-32 overall, 5-18 on the road.
- “I thought we put together four good quarters and kept the pressure on them. It was the second solid game in a row for us. I thought we were very unselfish and it started with our point guards." -- Jim O'Brien
- "I thought he looked sharp. It’s a credit to his professionalism. He showed everybody what he’s all about, staying in a frame of mind and staying ready.” -- O'Brien on T.J. Ford
- "I think we played really hard tonight and played tough together. We wanted to start from the beginning of the game to control the tempo. They seemed to be getting rebounds off the glass and we really looked to work at doing better as the game went on. We wanted to make it our tempo, not theirs." -- Roy Hibbert
- “It’s been a really tough five weeks watching from afar. But I’ve run sprints and tried to keep my conditioning up and I’ve been doing everything I can to keep in good shape. I know I just have to be ready so that any time I’m called I’m ready to contribute. I’m really happy to come out and be able to contribute and it felt good out there tonight.” -- T.J. Ford
- "T.J. played with confidence for a guy that hadn’t played in a while. He did a good job.” -- Pistons Coach Jon Kuester
- "That’s T.J. He’s just a good player." -- Pistons guard Rodney Stucky on Ford.
- "It just shows you how professional he is. He’s a guy that’s been in the league a long time and has started for a long time. Even though he hasn’t played, he still came out there and showed he can play this game and be professional at it.” -- Pistons guard Richard Hamilton on Ford.
With Earl Watson out the next two games to attend his grandmother's funeral, rookie A.J. Price picked up his first career start at the point and overcame a shaky start to play solidly. The Pistons led 12-7 early but the Pacers recovered to take a 24-20 lead after one. It was 38-33 late in the second quarter when the Pacers heated up behind T.J. Ford and Roy Hibbert, closing the half on a 14-4 run to take a 52-37 lead into the break.
The Pacers put it away quickly, scoring the first eight points of the second half to push the lead to 60-37 and it was a laugher from there as the Pistons got no closer than 17 and trailed by as many as 31.
BY THE NUMBERS
For the second game in a row, the Pacers enjoyed superb ball movement, balanced offense and aggressive defense. Granger's 25 led the way, and he had six rebounds, two steals and a block. Brandon Rush had his eighth straight double-figure scoring game with 16 points on 7-of-12 shooting (2-of-3 from the arc), adding five assists, four rebounds, two steals and a block. Dahntay Jones scored 13 on 5-of-7 shooting off the bench. Troy Murphy had 12 points and 10 rebounds for his 21st double-double of the season, and Roy Hibbert had 10 points and 11 rebounds for his eighth double-double.
Ford's 11 points came on 5-of-7 shooting and he added five assists, three rebounds and two steals in 23 minutes. The Pacers shot .519 overall and were 10-of-27 from the arc and outrebounded the Pistons 47-42. Price finished with eight points, four rebounds and four assists in his debut as a starter.
Ben Gordon was Detroit's biggest threat with 26 points on 10-of-17 shooting off the bench, including 4-of-7 from the 3-point line. Rodney Stuckey scored 16 but the point guard did not have an assist. Tayshaun Prince scored 10 on 2-of-12 shooting and Will Bynum had 10 with seven assists off the bench. The Pistons shot .391 overall and had more turnovers (13) than assists (10).