Pacers at Pistons

Game Preview presented by Jiffy Lube

Game Preview: Pacers at Pistons

Tuesday, December 26, 2017 at 7:00 PM ET at Little Caesars Arena
by Greg Rappaport
Pacers.com Writer
@Greg_Rappaport

Matchup

The Pacers continued their climb up the crowded Eastern Conference standings on Saturday night, using an impressive second-half comeback against the Brooklyn Nets to avoid what would have been considered a dispiriting home defeat.

By night's end, Indiana (19-14) sat at fourth in the Eastern Conference standings, trailing just Boston, Toronto, and Cleveland. Right on the Pacers' heels, however, is their opponent on Tuesday night: the Detroit Pistons (18-14).

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Despite it still being December, it's easy to imagine that the Pacers' matchup with Andre Drummond and company could have critical playoff implications come April. With the Pistons having won two of the first three matchups, Indiana needs the win to split the season series, which would send it to the second tiebreaker (divisional record) if the teams were to finish with the same record.

The Pacers enter the game as winners of three of their last four, two of which came on the road, where the Pacers have built an impressive 8-7 record this season.

The Pistons appear to have recovered from a damaging seven-game skid that dropped them for the heights of the Eastern Conference, reeling off victories in four of their last five games.

Detroit's attack is by committee, with four players averaging double figure scoring for the Pistons. Over their last five games, the Pistons have been on fire from long range, hitting 41.4 percent of their looks from deep — the fourth-best mark in league during that time frame.

For the Pacers, defending the three will be an area of focus after allowing Brooklyn to connect on 16-of-36 3-point attempts during Saturday's come-from-behind win.

Projected Starters

Pacers: PG - Darren Collison, SG - Victor Oladipo, SF - Bojan Bogdanovic, PF - Thaddeus Young, C - Myles Turner
Pistons: PG - Reggie Jackson, SG - Reggie Bullock, SF - Tobias Harris, PF - Anthony Tolliver, C - Andre Drummond

Injury Report

Pacers: Glenn Robinson III - out (left ankle surgery rehabilitation), Edmond Sumner - out (left knee surgery rehabilitation)

Pistons: Avery Bradley - out (right groin strain), Jon Leuer - out (left ankle sprain)

Last Meeting

December 15, 2017: Just like they have in many of their games this season, the Pacers pulled themselves back into a game in which they trailed by double digits. But on the last night of their six-game homestand, the Pacers weren't able to complete the comeback, falling 104-98.

Indiana trailed by as many as 16 in the fourth quarter, and trimmed it down to a three-point deficit with under three minutes remaining.

Thaddeus Young hit one of two free throws with 1:34 left to make it a two-point game. Then, after Reggie Jackson missed a jumper, the Pacers had a chance to take the lead when Oladipo drove and found Lance Stephenson open in the corner.

Stephenson couldn't get the shot to fall. Myles Turner corralled the offensive rebound to give the Pacers a second chance, but wound up missing from the right wing after a timeout.

"That's a shot I work on, a shot I shoot with confidence," Turner said. "I think I flicked it instead of holding my release. It's one that hurts. I love that moment, I live for that moment, to be the guy to take that last shot."

Reggie Jackson came up with the rebound and then knocked down both foul shots to give Detroit a four-point lead with 18.1 seconds remaining, icing the game.

Noteworthy

  • Cory Joseph needs five assists to reach 1,000 in his career.
  • This is the fourth and final regular season meeting between the two teams.
  • The Pacers lead the all-time series, 97-92.

Tickets

The Pacers return to Bankers Life Fieldhouse to host Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday, Dec. 27 at 7:00 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), Pat Boylan (studio host)

Away Game Night Special

Pacers Primary Logo Fleece Pant - $18. Game Night Specials can be purchased online the day of each away game from 10:00 AM - Midnight. Order Online »