GAME RECAP: Pistons 104, Pacers 98

Andre Drummond scores 23 points and grabs 13 rebounds as the Pistons take down the Pacers 104-98 in Indiana. Victor Oladipo scored a game-high 26 points for Indiana in the loss.

Postgame 171215

Scroll Video up Scroll Video down Scroll Video left Scroll Video right

GAME RECAP: Pistons 104, Pacers 98

Andre Drummond scores 23 points and grabs 13 rebounds as the Pistons take down the Pacers 104-98 in Indiana. Victor Oladipo scored a game-high 26 points for Indiana in the loss.
Dec 15, 2017  |  01:47

Sabonis Posterizes his Defender

December 15, 2017: Detroit Pistons vs. Indiana Pacers - Highlights
Dec 15, 2017  |  03:59

Postgame: Pacers Locker Room - Dec. 15, 2017

Dec. 15, 2017 - Victor Oladipo, Myles Turner and Darren Collison shared their thoughts after a 104-98 loss to the Detroit Pistons.
Dec 15, 2017  |  02:02

Postgame: McMillan Press Conference - Dec. 15, 2017

December 15, 2017 - Pacers head coach Nate McMillan spoke to the media following Indiana's 104-98 loss to the Detroit Pistons on Friday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Dec 15, 2017  |  01:47

Bojan Gets the Putback Dunk

December 15, 2017: Detroit Pistons vs. Indiana Pacers - Highlights
Dec 15, 2017  |  05:48

Turner Cleans The Glass

December 15, 2017: Detroit Pistons vs. Indiana Pacers - Highlights
Dec 15, 2017  |  05:34

Oladipo Closes the Half With a Three

December 15, 2017: Detroit Pistons vs. Indiana Pacers - Highlights
Dec 15, 2017  |  05:13

Pacers Passing Leads to Oladipo Three

December 15, 2017: Detroit Pistons vs. Indiana Pacers - Highlights
Dec 15, 2017  |  05:13

Lance Hits Sabonis From Long Range

December 15, 2017: Detroit Pistons vs. Indiana Pacers - Highlights
Dec 15, 2017  |  02:23

Turner Slams the Brakes

December 15, 2017: Detroit Pistons vs. Indiana Pacers - Highlights
Dec 15, 2017  |  02:24

Turner Slams Inside

December 15, 2017: Detroit Pistons vs. Indiana Pacers - Highlights
Dec 15, 2017  |  02:25

Pacers Close Homestand in Need of Patience

by Mark Montieth
Pacers.com Writer
@MarkMontieth

Four out of six is 66 percent, a good winning percentage for any team. Viewed that way, the Pacers' six-game homestand was a success.

But, when you consider they closed with two self-destructing defeats after winning the first four games, it felt like a disappointment.

But, when you consider their youth and the preseason expectations for them, perhaps a 66 percent homestand and a 16-13 record is reasonable.

The Pacers seemed to have plenty of advantages heading into Friday night's game against Detroit. The Pistons had played on Thursday, when they broke a seven-game losing streak in Atlanta, and were without their best defender and second-leading scorer, Avery Bradley. The Pacers, meanwhile, had been humbled in Wednesday's nationally-televised loss to Oklahoma City, their first marquee event of the season and had a day off to regroup.

None of that showed in their 104-98 loss at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, a game in which they lacked patience, shot selection, shooting accuracy, and poise.

HOLIDAY PACKS: Five Great Games + Gear for the Holidays Starting at Just $125 »

"That team played last night and there were times in the course of this game it looked like we played last night," Pacers coach Nate McMillan said. "We played a little flat."

The Pacers hit just 40 percent of their field goal attempts, including 9-of-30 3-pointers. They committed 14 turnovers. They missed four free throws in the fourth quarter. And, they dug themselves into two holes, only one of which they managed to escape.

Death-defying comebacks have nearly been the norm for them in the comfort of their home this season. They came from 22 down midway through the third quarter to beat the Pistons on Nov. 17. They came from 16 down in the fourth quarter to beat Chicago on Dec. 6. They came from 19 down in the first half to beat Denver on Sunday. And, they nearly came from 11 down to beat Oklahoma City on Wednesday.

So, what was one more? They had already proved they could do it by erasing Detroit's 14-point lead with 8:14 left in the second quarter by taking a four-point lead, losing that, and regaining a one-point halftime lead on Victor Oladipo's 3-pointer with 0.3 seconds remaining. When they fell behind by 16 with 9:03 left in Friday's contest, it only seemed they were setting up for another crowd-pleasing sprint to the finish line.

They nearly made it, too. They got within two points of the Pistons when Thaddeus Young missed and then made a free throw with 1:34 left. Young then took the rebound of Reggie Jackson's missed 19-foot jumper off the floor, providing a chance to tie or take the lead, but three shots turned out to be not enough.

Lance Stephenson missed an open 3-pointer from the right corner. Myles Turner rebounded but missed from directly in front of the basket, drawing contact but no foul call. Turner and Tobias Harris both grabbed the rebound. The jump ball was tipped out of bounds, and awarded to the Pacers. After a timeout with 41 seconds left, Turner missed a 3-point shot that barely grazed the rim with 28.9 seconds left, allowing the Pistons to close out the game from the foul line.

Turner's shot was quick on two counts. It came with about 12 seconds left on the shot clock, and wasn't the ideal shot in that situation — not from a 36 percent 3-point shooter when three teammates with better percentages were in the game, and when a two-point basket would have been enough. He also released it too quickly, failing to follow through.

"I think I flicked it instead of holding my release," he said.

"It's one that hurts. I love that moment. I live for that moment."

That moment, however, summarized the primary factor in the Pacers' loss: their inability to be patient in the halfcourt offense. McMillan often talks about being either fast or slow on offense, meaning to move the ball and find a quality shot if a quick and easy one isn't available in transition. Too many times, the Pacers took defended shots early in the shot clock, and too many times they missed.

That figures to be one of the challenges for Oladipo, and the Pacers. He's earning star status and is their most lethal offensive threat, because of his ability to create shots and his killer mentality. He scored eight of his 26 points in the fourth period, all of them within a two-minute and 10-second stretch which he closed with a 3-pointer with 4:09 left that brought the Pacers within four points.

The Pacers need him to be assertive, but when he's hitting just 9-of-26 shots, as he did against OKC, or hitting just 8-of-22, as he did on Friday, it becomes a disruption to the offense.

The Pacers had just six assists in the second half because of their lack of ball movement and 29.5 percent field goal shooting.

"We're not executing offensively," McMillan said. "We're not getting the quality of shots that we've been getting in our offense. That's part of screening and moving the ball. We're stopping and settling. We're taking a lot of tough shots.

"We didn't show (Detroit's level of) patience on the offensive end. You raise up and take a quick perimeter shot, you don't force them to play any defense. If we don't have a shot early in the clock, we want to make them play some defense and move the ball from side to side."

This wasn't the first time McMillan has had to make that speech to the media, or his team. There's a fine line between playing an uptempo game and a recklessly impatient game, and the Pacers will be in constant search of it throughout the season. They'll look explosive when quick shots are falling and implosive when they are not, but ultimately will be seeking a balance.

"We're going to get it right," Turner said. "We've done it before. We'll do what it takes."


Have a question for Mark? Want it to be on Pacers.com? Email him at askmontieth@gmail.com and you could be featured in his next mailbag.

Note: The contents of this page have not been reviewed or endorsed by the Indiana Pacers. All opinions expressed by Mark Montieth are solely his own and do not reflect the opinions of the Indiana Pacers, their partners, or sponsors.

Related Content