Last Updated: Nov. 17 at 11:00 AM ET
On Wednesday night, the Pacers put fans on edge with a grind-it-out win against the relentless Grizzlies. Come Friday — in their first Hickory Night of the 2017-18 season — the Pacers' margin for error will be even slimmer as they face off against the 10-4 Detroit Pistons.
The Hickory Night game — which will honor the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame and city of New Castle, Indiana — comes at a time in which the Pacers are trying to fix an issue that has plagued them all season, losing leads late in games.
During a recent four-game losing streak, which included a loss to the Pistons, Indiana led by double-digits in the second half of three of the four games. And during their win over Memphis, the Pacers saw a 17-point fourth-quarter lead chopped down to just three points with the Grizzlies having a chance to tie in the final seconds.
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"We didn’t execute as well as we would have liked, but we did things we needed to and made shots when we needed to down the stretch," said head coach Nate McMillan after Indiana's most recent win.
In the victory, Darren Collison guard had his strongest game of the season, notching 30 points while passing out eight assists. Collison told Fox Sports Indiana's Jeremiah Johnson that he has been dealing with some knee soreness of late, but was feeling like himself again on Wednesday night.
Collison's instant offense helped carry the Pacers down the stretch, including a late jumper to help Indiana maintain control of the game.
The Pistons enter Friday night's meeting as one of the NBA's surprise teams, having won eight of their last 10 and surging to second place in the Eastern Conference.
Tobias Harris has led the upstart group is scoring, averaging 19.6 points per game. In their game against the Pacers, Harris led the team with 23 points.
Pacers: PG - Darren Collison, SG - Victor Oladipo, SF - Bojan Bogdanovic, PF - Thaddeus Young, C - Myles Turner
Pistons: PG - Reggie Jackson, SG - Avery Bradley, SF - Tobias Harris, PF - Stanley Johnson, C - Andre Drummond
Pacers: Glenn Robinson III - out (left ankle surgery rehabilitation), Edmond Sumner - out (left knee surgery rehabilitation)
Pistons: Jon Leuer - questionable (left ankle sprain)
The Detroit Pistons franchise was founded as the Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons, a National Basketball League team in Fort Wayne, Indiana in 1939. Today, Fort Wayne is home to the Mad Ants, the Pacers-affiliated G League team.
November 8, 2017: Playing on the road in Detroit, the Pacers dropped their fourth consecutive game, falling 114-97 to the Pistons.
Despite leading by double digits in the first half, the hosts used an overpowering final two quarters to put away the Pacers.
"They made some plays, and once again, we didn't get the stops that we needed," Pacers head coach Nate McMillan said after the loss. "It looked like we were a little fatigued tonight, and just didn’t have enough tonight."
Victor Oladipo led the Blue & Gold with 21 points on the night, but went just 8-for-21 from the field and committed six turnovers. Al Jefferson finished with 19 points on 7-of-10 shooting and six rebounds in 22 minutes.
- This is the second of four matchups with the Pistons this season, all of which come before January.
- The Pacers lead the all-time series with Detroit, 96-91.
- In their last game, the Pacers passed out 29 assists.
- Detroit's most recent game, a 99-95 loss to the Bucks, snapped a five-game winning streak.
Secure your seats for our first Hickory Night of the 2017-18 season when Andre Drummond and the Detroit Pistons come to town on Friday night at 7 PM ET. Find Tickets »
Broadcast Information TV & Radio Listings »
TV: FOX Sports Indiana - Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analyst), Jeremiah Johnson (sideline reporter/host)
Radio: 107.5 FM/AM 1070 The Fan - Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Bobby "Slick" Leonard (analyst), Pat Boylan (sideline reporter/host)
Please Note: Inside Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Pacers radio broadcasts can be heard on 1080 AM instead of 1070.
Home Court Gift Shop Game Night Special
Hickory T-Shirt - $20. Game Night Specials can be purchased online the day of each away game from 10:00 AM - Midnight. Order Online »
Construction Note: The city's department of public works is replacing the sidewalk on Pennsylvania Street from just north of Georgia Street to Bankers Life Court. Portions of the sidewalk may be closed, but pedestrians should still have access to the Pennsylvania Street entrance of Bankers Life Fieldhouse.