Game Rewind: Pacers 114, Pistons 82
Friday, February 22nd at 7:00 PM EST at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Game Rewind: IND 114, DET 82
by Scott Agness | Updated February 22, 2013 at 10:32 PM
Pacers head coach Frank Vogel couldn't stop smiling Monday when talking with the gathered media after practice. His team had just wrapped up one of the best post All-Star practices that he had ever been a part of. Add that to their third-place record in the East, rising star Paul George’s performance over the weekend and the anticipated return of Danny Granger, the entire team was recharged for the final 29 regular season games.
For the second straight game since that practice, the Pacers (34-21) put on a dominant performance. They followed up Wednesday’s 34-point whipping of the Atlanta Division-leading New York Knicks with a 114-82 crushing of the Detroit Pistons (22-35) Friday night.
Again, the Pacers came out with a new kind of energy and aggression that pushed them in front, 13-2. Their lead swelled to 19 by the first quarter's end and increased into the fourth. The Pacers got stops and steals defensively, and finished in transition. 10 of their first 19 points came on the break.
Rookie Orlando Johnson provided the highlights in the second stanza, sailing past his season-high of eight. He drilled all four of his shots, two coming from behind the arc. Indiana's lead was 24 at the break.
Vogel played his starters all but 44 seconds in the third quarter. Once the lead hit 40, he brought them to the bench for good, which should be especially helpful when playing this same Detroit team again tomorrow night.
The Pacers haven't trailed in 10 straight quarters and their last eight home wins have all come by double digits. That’s exactly the type of home dominance Vogel had in mind. Every Pacers player scored and six finished in double figures.
Post All-Star break, the Pacers have won their two games by 34 and 32, respectively. With a Knicks loss tonight, they are now up to second in the East and Granger's return looks probable for tomorrow.
Safe to say, Vogel's smile hasn't gone anywhere.
Inside the Numbers
All five Indiana starters scored at least 10 points and shot over 50 percent. David West led all scorers with 18 points and he corralled a team-high eight boards.
Reserve Will Bynum scored 17 points off the bench for the Pistons. Viacheslav Kravtsov registered a double-double (14 points, 10 rebounds) and Rodney Stuckey was their only starter in double figures with 11.
During their three-game winning streak, the Pacers have won by an average of 30 points.
The Pacers’ offensive production was their best this season: 56.2 percent from the floor, 71.4 percent (10-of-14) behind the arc, and 29 assists – all season-highs.
The Pacers outscored the Pistons in the paint 52-34 and won the rebounding battle 47-41.
Paul George has a steal in each of the last 15 games.
“I’m very, very pleased with how our guys are approaching this post All-Star break, the way they’re coming out to start games in particular. (They played with) incredible energy and determination which resulted in a couple of really good wins.” – Frank Vogel
“Shooting has turned our whole season around…our offense is really coming (along).” – Frank Vogel
“I think we’ve kind of found an identity that we can play at. We can wrap out our hands around the style of play that we’ve been playing lately, as far as getting up and down the court and really pushing the tempo.” – Paul George on their offensive output
“We’ve been having some really good practices. We haven’t been lollygagging around and have just been playing extremely hard.” – Roy Hibbert on their recent success
“Night and day. When I came to the camp, I wasn’t really expecting to play at all. My whole mindset was just learn—learn this year, learn from these guys…I just wanted to make sure that I just soaked in everything from each one of these vets that’s been on this team, so I could sustain that level when I get my chance to play.” – Orlando Johnson on his play from training camp to tonight
Stat of the Game
Rookie Orlando Johnson had his best game as a pro, tallying a career-high 14 points on 5-of-5 shooting. He also had three rebounds and three assists and no turnovers in 24 minutes.
- Indiana has won the last four meetings and 10 straight over Detroit in Indianapolis.
- With a big lead, Lance Stephenson was immediately taken out after he tried a backwards pass between his legs that got picked off. On what happened: “Just having fun. Trying to bring excitement to the game and have more fans come out and support us. But it didn't work that time. Usually it works.”
- Jeff Pendergraph was called for a technical foul in the fourth quarter.
- Brandon Knight (hyperextended right knee) and rookie Andre Drummond did not play.
- Danny Granger will travel with the team tonight to Detroit and likely make his return.
The Pacers battle the Pistons for the second night in a row, this time in Detroit at 7:30 PM EST. The game will wrap up the four-game season series.