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Game Preview: Pacers vs Pistons

Last Updated: April 1 at 3:00 PM ET

Matchup

Even after losing their last three games, the Pacers remain in control of their own destiny as they attempt to retake the fourth seed from the Celtics.

Both the Celtics and Pacers (45-32) fell on Saturday night, with Indiana losing 121-116 to a feisty Magic team and Boston dropping its road matchup to the Nets.

The pair of losses leaves the likely first-round opponents with identical records as Friday's rematch at Bankers Life Fieldhouse looms large.

Before that, however, the Pacers must contend with the Detroit Pistons (39-37), who they'll play on both Monday and Wednesday in a home-and-away matchup that will go a long way towards determining where Indiana finishes in the Eastern Conference standings.

"We’re still in a fight for fourth place and homecourt advantage in the playoffs," said Bojan Bogdanovic after Saturday's loss. "We have to stick together. We know how good we are and can be when we play our basketball and our defense. We just need to stick together."

Detroit enters the game entirely in must-win mode, as the battle for the final spots in the Eastern Conference has turned into a five-team race for three spots.

The Pistons have been led this season by yet another All-Star campaign from forward Blake Griffin, who has averaged 24.7 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 5.5 assists per game.

In order to slow down the duo, Indiana will need to get back to being one of the top defenses in the league, an area in which they've struggled since the All-Star break.

Over their last nine games, the Pacers have allowed their opponents to surpass 100 points eight times, going 2-7 in that stretch.

Projected Starters

Cory Joseph

Cory Joseph

Tyreke Evans

Tyreke Evans

Bojan Bogdanovic

Bojan Bogdanovic

Thaddeus Young

Thaddeus Young

Myles Turner

Myles Turner

Reggie Jackson

Reggie Jackson

Wayne Ellington

Wayne Ellington

Bruce Brown

Bruce Brown

Thon Maker

Thon Maker

Andre Drummond

Andre Drummond

Pacers: PG - Cory Joseph, SG - Tyreke Evans, SF - Bojan Bogdanovic, PF - Thaddeus Young, C - Myles Turner
Pistons: PG - Reggie Jackson, SG - Wayne Ellington, SF - Bruce Brown, PF - Thon Maker, C - Andre Drummond

Injury Report

Pacers: Darren Collison - out (sore groin), Tyreke Evans - questionable (bruised right knee), Alize Johnson - questionable (sore left foot), Wesley Matthews - out (right hamstring strain), Victor Oladipo - out (right knee surgery)

Pistons: Langston Galloway - questionable (illness), Blake Griffin - out (left knee soreness), Luke Kennard - questionable (right foot soreness)

Last Meeting

February 25, 2019: The Pistons had the hot hand from deep, making 18 3-pointers on their way to a 113-109 win over the Pacers in Detroit.

The loss spoiled the Pacers' bid for their ninth win in their last 10 games. Bojan Bogdanovic led Indiana (40-21) with 24 in the defeat, while Domantas Sabonis added 23 points off the bench on 9-of-13 shooting and seven rebounds.

Andre Drummond led all scorers with 26 points on 12-of-21 shooting and 16 rebounds, nine of them coming on the offensive glass.

Blake Griffin, meanwhile, recorded a triple-double, finishing with 20 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists, while Luke Kennard added 19 points off the bench while going 5-for-8 from 3-point range.

Five players finished in double figures for Indiana in the loss. Darren Collison had 21 points, five assists, and three steals. Wesley Matthews added 14 points, while Thad Young tallied 10 points, 12 rebounds, three assists, three steals, and two blocks.

Noteworthy

  • The Pacers lead the all-time series 98-94 and the teams have split their season series 1-1 this season.
  • Pistons forward Glenn Robinson III played for the Pacers for three seasons (2016-2018).
  • Bojan Bogdanovic has scored 20 or more points in four straight games.

Tickets

The Pacers continue their fight for playoff position when Blake Griffin and the Detroit Pistons visit Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Monday, April 1 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/1070 AM The Fan - Mark Boyle (play-by-play), 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.