Tuesday, November 5th, 2013 at 7:30 PM ET at the Palace of Auburn Hills
Game Rewind: Pacers 99, Pistons 91
Scott Agness | November 5, 2013
In Detroit for the start of a busy seven days that includes five games, the Pacers looked to keep to their winning ways and prevent history from repeating itself. The Pistons (2-2) added Josh Smith and Brandon Jennings in the offseason and they were fired up to get an early swing on the reigning division champions.
The Pacers built a 15-point lead but managed to score only nine points in the second quarter. Paul George looked silky smooth and scored 19 of his game-high 31 points in the second half in helping the Pacers put away the Pistons, 99-91.
Unlike the 2011-12 season – the last time they started 3-0 – the Pacers won their fourth game, which was coincidently also in Detroit, to remain the lone unbeaten team in the NBA. The Pacers are 4-0 for the first time to start the season since 2004-05.
During the first 2:19 of the game, the Pacers turned the ball over three times before finally playing under control and grabbing hold of the game. C.J. Watson, starting in place of George Hill (sore left hip) for the second consecutive game, scored six of their first eight. The Pacers then went on an 11-2 run, which included seven straight from George. Last year’s Most Improved Player got in rhythm early, connecting on his first five field goals for 12 points in the opening period.
As well as the Pacers pounced early on, shooting 62 percent in the opening stanza, they took a couple steps back in the second. Fortunately for them, they had built up a 15-point lead. The Pistons outscored the Pacers 17-3 over the final 6:24, including the final 10 points of the half. The Pacers made just 4-of-19 shots, were held to nine points in the second and trailed the Pistons at half, 41-38.
The second half was all Pacers, however, as they tightened up, stuck to the script, and kept attacking.
After just nine points in the second quarter, the Pacers shot 70 percent and erupted for 36 points in the third. George continued to score at ease. He was responsible for 14 in the quarter, ensuring his fourth consecutive game with at least 21 points. The Pacers scored 11 unanswered at one point and went into the fourth quarter with an 11-point advantage.
The Pistons threatened with a 9-2 run to start the fourth, drawing them within four, but then the Pacers went on an 18-3 surge. Though the Pistons never quit fighting, the Pacers starters weren’t going to leave The Palace of Auburn Hills without a victory.
The team will fly back late Tuesday night and have a very challenging task tomorrow night in taking on the Chicago Bulls, a division rival.
Inside the Numbers
The Pacers shot a season-high 52.1 percent in the win while holding the Pistons to 37.9 percent. Their 99 points are also a new high for the young season.
Paul George scored 30-plus for the second game and recorded a double-double for the second game in a row. C.J. Watson filled in nicely for Hill, contributing 15 points and five assists.
With seven blocks in this one, Roy Hibbert, who also had eight points and 10 rebounds, upped his league-leading total to 21.
Brandon Jennings was just 6-of-20 and finished with 17 points. Josh Smith was 1-of-6 from deep and had 16. Greg Monroe added 14 and 10.
With 18 tonight (resulting in 20 points), turnovers remain a concern for the Pacers as they’re averaging nearly 20 per contest.
"[He’s the] anchor of our defense. He’s the best defensive player in the game." - Frank Vogel on Roy Hibbert
"Paul George did everything I asked him to do and everything you can possibly ask a player to do tonight. [He] played the point and guarded point guards. He guarded elite small forwards or Josh Smith, who is really a power forward, and guarded him all night." – Frank Vogel
"I want this moment and I’m not going to shy away from it." - Paul George on yet another strong performance
"We moved the ball really well... and we blocked shots. We rebounded and on most nights, that's the key to getting a win. We were able to get stops on defense and that transitioned into us getting easy shots on offense. Overall, a big win for us.” – Paul George
Stat of the Game
The Pacers went 9-for-21 from 3-point land while the Pistons were 5-of-25.
- The Pacers knocked off the Pistons 15 of the last 18 times, including six straight.
- Rookie Solomon Hill sank his first career 3-pointer in the first quarter.
- After a forearm near the throat of Kyle Singler, Pacers guard Lance Stephenson was whistled for a flagrant-1 foul in the second quarter. Rodney Stuckey was T’d up in the third.
- Tuesday was Ian Mahinmi’s 27th birthday.
Next Home Game
The Pacers take on their Central Division rival Chicago Bulls on Wednesday night at 7 PM. Good seats are still available. Find Tickets »