featured-image

Game Preview: Pacers vs Pistons

Pacers.com Game Preview presented by DraftKings

Matchup

After battling tough against the Celtics, the Pacers (25-53) return home for their final homestand of the season. The first of two games at Gainbridge Fieldhouse is a bout with their Central Division foes, the Detroit Pistons (22-56). Indiana is looking to even the season series at two games apiece. Both sides have won their respective home games up to this point.

The Pacers are seeking an end to their six-game losing streak. Meanwhile, the Pistons are entering this game on a high note, having won consecutive games for just the fourth time this season. Before picking up a 110-101 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder, Detroit snagged a 102-94 victory over the playoff-bound Philadelphia 76ers.

Rookie Cade Cunningham (17.6 points, 5.6 assists per game) and second-year forward Saddiq Bey (16.3 points, 5.6 rebounds) have been the highlights of the season for Detroit. Cunningham has the talent to become Detroit’s next star, and Bey has been a workhorse for Detroit. The forward has not missed a game all season. On March 17, he posted 51 points against the Orlando Magic to become the youngest player in Pistons history to score 50 points in a game.

Friday’s contest against the Celtics saw a couple of Pacers return to action. The Blue & Gold welcomed Oshae Brissett and Isaiah Jackson back into the mix. The boost in the number of big men helped the squad fight to the wire with one of the Eastern Conference’s top teams. Barring setbacks, the duo should see more playing time as they return to full health.

Pacers fans are also hoping for another spectacular performance from Tyrese Haliburton in this game. The 22-year-old guard recorded 30 points on 10-of-11 shooting against Boston before fouling out early in the fourth quarter. Now, he will face the league’s sixth-worst defensive team in terms of defensive rating. Detroit is giving up an average of 113.5 points per 100 possessions.

Projected Starters

Tyrese Haliburton

Tyrese Haliburton

Buddy Hield

Buddy Hield

Oshae Brissett

Oshae Brissett

Terry Taylor

Terry Taylor

Goga Bitadze

Goga Bitadze

Cory Joseph

Cory Joseph

Cade Cunningham

Cade Cunningham

Saddiq Bey

Saddiq Bey

Marvin Bagley III

Marvin Bagley III

Isaiah Stewart

Isaiah Stewart

Pacers: PG - Tyrese Haliburton, SG - Buddy Hield, SF - Justin Anderson, PF - Oshae Brissett, C - Goga Bitadze
Pistons: PG - Cory Joseph, SG - Cade Cunningham, SF - Saddiq Bey, PF - Marvin Bagley III, C - Isaiah Stewart

Injury Report

Pacers: Goga Bitadze - questionable (sore right foot), Malcolm Brogdon - out (sore lower back), Chris Duarte - out (sore left toe), T.J. McConnell - out (right wrist ligament surgery), Ricky Rubio - out (torn left ACL), Myles Turner - out (left foot stress reaction), T.J. Warren – out (left navicular fracture)

Pistons: Cory Joseph - doubtful (left lumber spine; strain), Marvin Bagley III - out (strained left hip), Cade Cunningham - out (sore back), Hamidou Diallo - out (avulsion fracture; left index finger), Luka Garza - out (left ankle sprain, Jerami Grant - out (left calf strain), Chris Smith - out (left ACL surgery)

Last Meeting

March 4, 2022: The Pacers battled out of an early deficit to take a late lead against Detroit. However, an all-too-familiar ending played out for the Blue & Gold. With Indiana leading 105-99, the Pistons rattled off a 12-1 run over the final 2:55 to earn a 111-106 victory over the Pacers.

Six Pacers finished in double figures in the effort. Malcolm Brogdon tallied 26 points and five boards to lead the way. Buddy Hield and Duane Washington Jr. added 16 apiece, and Isaiah Jackson finished with a 12-point, 11-rebound double-double. Jalen Smith also had a double-double while playing off the bench. Saddiq Bey had 25, and Cade Cunningham had 20 to lead Detroit.

The Pistons got off to a fast start, which led to a 39-32 lead after the first quarter. At the beginning of the second, Detroit nailed four treys to help extend the lead to as many as 15. However, Indiana soon closed the gap. The Pacers outscored the Pistons, 27-15, over the last 9:54 of the frame to close the gap to 65-62 at halftime.

Starting at the 7:00 mark in the third, Indiana mounted a 10-0 run to take a 79-78 lead and force a Pistons timeout with 4:43 to play. Tyrese Haliburton induced the timeout with a crowd-silencing triple from the right elbow. Yet, Detroit fought to earn a one-point edge entering the fourth.

Leading 100-99 with 3:16 left, Brogdon hit a three to push the Pacers ahead by four. The squad followed that with an easy transition dunk to stretch the margin to six. However, Cunningham and Bey led the late rally, and Jerami Grant sealed the deal at the free-throw line.

Noteworthy

  • Indiana has won the last four home games in the series
  • Pistons forward Jerami Grand and Pacers assistant coach Lloyd Pierce were both members of the Team USA team that won gold in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo
  • Sunday’s matchup will be the 205th time these teams have met in the regular season

Tickets

The Pacers tip off their final homestand of the season on Sunday, April 3, when they welcome Cade Cunningham and the Detroit Pistons to Gainbridge Fieldhouse at 5:00 PM ET. Find Tickets »

Broadcast Information TV & Radio Listings »

TV: Bally Sports Indiana - Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analyst), Jeremiah Johnson (sideline reporter/host)
Radio: 93.5/107.5 The Fan - Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Eddie Gill (analyst), Pat Boylan (sideline reporter/host)