Monday, December 16, 2013 at 7:00 PM ET at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Game Rewind: Pacers 96, Pistons 101
Scott Agness | December 16, 2013
The Pacers entered Monday’s game against the Detroit Pistons with all the numbers in their favor. A 10-game lead in the division, 11-0 in home games this season, and 10 straight home wins over the Pistons.
The Pistons, who were playing on the second night of a back-to-back after losing at the buzzer to Portland, didn’t want to hear anything of it. They were ready from the tip, with center Andre Drummond’s rebound-slam setting the tone for the game.
Indiana got to within two points with 77 seconds remaining, but Detroit (12-14) had an answer every time. They never trailed in their 101-96 topping of the Pacers, the first team to do so this season at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
With great length, the Pistons (12-14) are one of the few teams that can equal the Pacers’ (20-4) size and present other problems, which is why head coach Frank Vogel called them a scary team to prepare for in his pregame media session. Early in the game, the Pacers weren’t closing out on shooters, were giving up far too many offensive rebounds, and weren’t playing with enough fight. Lance Stephenson, meantime, was playing with an edge and had six points and four rebounds after one as the Pacers trailed by three.
The Pacers had opportunities to go in front in the second quarter, but they failed three times. They made just 4-of-17 field goals and attempted 10 fewer shots than the Pistons, who continued to excel in the paint. Late in the second, the Pacers sank six foul shots to knot the game at 49, but then they gave up seven straight to end the half. Having given up 14 offensive rebounds and being outscored by 18 in the paint, the Pacers headed into the locker room trailing, 56-49.
And the Pistons did all of that without Drummond. He spent all but four minutes in the first half on the bench with three quick fouls.
Josh Smith, who scored 15 in the first half, scored on each of the Pistons’ first four possessions in the third. The Pacers even sent some help that way at times for different looks. Stephenson had a great baseline jam, which helped get the crowd back into the game. The Pacers shot 60 percent in the third, which they won by one, but they trailed by six with one quarter to play.
Backup power forward Luis Scola had the hot hand and was responsible for the Pacers’ first 10 points in the fourth, which kept their deficit to six with 5:56 remaining. With just under five minutes to play, Stephenson got the ball on a fast break, laid it in and was fouled. He missed the foul shot but Scola was there for the put-back, making it a two-point game.
After Detroit stretched the lead back to seven, Stephenson provided the boost with a pair of free throws and then a triple after Smith missed one of his own, making it a two-point game with 1:17 to go. Despite not hitting a field goal in the final 3:47, the Pistons made 7-of-10 foul shots to maintain their lead. Shots weren;t dropping for the Pacers and the Pistons hung on for the five-point win, which snapped a 10-game losing streak at The Fieldhouse.
Now, in Vogel's words, the Pacers need to lick their wounds in the next 36 hours as they face the Heat in Miami Wednesday night.
Inside the Numbers
Lance Stephenson scored 23 points, a new career-high, pulled down seven rebounds and dished out six assists without a turnover in 40 minutes.
Luis Scola scored 12 of his season-high 18 points in the final frame. Paul George was just 4-for-14, including 1-of-5 from downtown, but finished with 17 points and nine rebounds. David West added 14.
Detroit’s Josh Smith led the way with 30 points (on 29 shots), his second straight game with 30-plus. Point guard Brandon Jennings tallied 18 and had eight dimes. Greg Monroe posted a double-double: 13 points and 12 rebounds.
Opponents have scored at least 100 points on the Pacers in all four of their losses this season (2-4).
The Pistons scored 22 second-chance points, 17 coming in the first half.
The Pacers have given up 50+ first-half points in three of the last four games, after just four times in the first 20 games.
Indiana’s eight turnovers matched their season-low.
“Clearly, we didn’t keep them off the glass well enough in the first half. … Some of them were just bad bounces, and that’s going to happen. Sometimes we weren’t hitting people. Sometimes we were trying to get out on the break.” – Frank Vogel on the rebounding disadvantage
“They outhustled. They was getting every rebound and they were playing smarter than us and made big shots in clutch situations. We had no response. I feel like they bullied us and we got to respond to situations like that.” – Lance Stephenson
“We knew coming in they would be a team we would have to battle. Everything that was on our scouting report and game plan tonight, we didn’t follow it through.” – Paul George
“We just didn’t react well enough to their activity and the way the ball was bouncing. We just didn’t do a good job controlling the glass. That’s what they do. They shoot the ball and they go get it. We weren’t able to execute that part of the scouting report.” – David West
“Oh yeah, absolutely. It probably started with Oklahoma City. They just moved the ball on us and we weren’t able to get them under control and things have kind of snowballed from there. We still have confidence in our defense, but I think we’re not being unselfish enough offensively, either. And it came back to bite us tonight.” – David West on their defensive slippage over the last four games
Stat of the Game
Detroit grabbed 55 rebounds, a season-high by an Indiana opponent, including 20 on the offensive end — the second-highest total the Pacers have surrendered this season.
- Rasual Butler’s left eyelid and the sclera, the white part of his eye, were scratched on a play in the second quarter but he returned and said postgame that he’s fine.
- Josh Smith received a technical foul late in the second quarter.
- Prior to the game, Paul George received his trophy for being named the NBA’s Eastern Conference Player of the Month for November.
- Colts quarterback Andrew Luck treated his offensive lineman to a suite for the game.
The Pacers head to Miami Wednesday to take on the Heat for the second time in eight days. Game Preview »