Game Rewind: Pacers 107, Pistons 103

Game Recap

Just a few minutes into the third quarter, with the Pacers trailing by one to the Detroit Pistons, George Hill threw a dart pass into the paint to Roy Hibbert, who quickly shoveled it off to David West on the baseline. Without hesitation, West fired a line drive to C.J. Miles, who was waiting beyond the arc with his hands outstretched. Miles lifted up and drilled the 3-pointer to complete the idyllic passing sequence from the Pacers.

On the next offensive possession, Miles did it again; this time from the corner. The shot, which was once again assisted by West, put the Pacers up by five at that point, as they went on to gut out the 107-103 road victory and keep their playoff hopes alive into the final week of the season.

Talking to the media last week, team president Larry Bird presented a rather simple equation for beating opponents, “Every time we move the ball to the open man, we win games," he said.

That ball movement was on full display on Friday night at the Palace at Auburn Hills, where the Blue & Gold dished out 29 assists as a team, led by Hill and West, who each had nine.

But as succinct as Bird made it out to be, beating the plucky Pistons proved to be a daunting task, as the Pacers trailed for a large chunk of the fourth quarter. But thanks to the contributions of Rodney Stuckey and Miles, who had 24 points apiece, Indiana was able to escape Michigan with a win in hand.

The victory, which was their fourth straight, keeps the Pacers in the thick of things in the Eastern Conference Playoff race. Although both Boston and Brooklyn are ahead in the standings — and both hold the tie-breaker over the Pacers — the players on Indiana were rightfully treating Friday night's game as a must-win situation.

"We're in survival mode," said West after the game, "We're just fighting for our lives. We know we need help from somebody else but we're just taking care of our business."

The fourth-quarter comeback came to fruition for the Pacers when Luis Scola was fouled with just over four minutes remaining in the game. Scola calmly sank both to tie the game at 93.

Other than a tie at 95, Indiana led the rest of the way, picking up key scores from Stuckey, who made all three of the Pacers' final field goals against his former squad. George Hill, who finished the evening with 13 points, made the Pacers' last six points, draining all of his free throw attempts at the end to ice the game.

"You all know what he can do," Pistons head coach Stan Van Gundy said of Stuckey. "I mean Rodney can score the ball, and when he gets it going he’s very good. He was fabulous tonight.”

While neither the Cavaliers or Wizards did the Pacers a solid by defeating their playoff relevant foes, Boston and Brooklyn, respectively; it made the win all the more vital for Indiana, whose odds of making the postseason would have plummeted dramatically with a loss.

"We know those teams are playing really well. We're going to need some help along the way," said Pacers coach Frank Vogel. "We'll just control what we can and stay in the fight. It's what we did late in the game tonight."

Inside the Numbers

The Pacers four-game winning streak is their second longest of the season.

David West's nine assists were the most he's had all season, surpassing his previous high of seven, which he had accomplished three times.

The Pacers' bench, which already leads the NBA in scoring at 41.2 points per game (prior to tonight's game) once against stepped up, pouring in 48 points, including 10 from Paul George.

You Can Quote Me On That

"It's pretty much the story of our season. Finding ways to win games. Finding ways to stay together. We knew it was going to be a tough game coming in here." -Pacers swingman C.J. Miles

"He's just aggressive. We encourage him to shoot the three ball. He made some big threes, but really he was aggressive down the stretch. Attacking Reggie Jackson - getting him in foul trouble. He just played a solid game all the way around." -Pacers head coach Frank Vogel on Rodney Stuckey

“That’s the game. You can’t go 12-for-23 in the game and miss six free throws in the fourth quarter. We had some bad fouls and we missed our free throws. We also missed some standing-by-yourself wide open shots so it’s frustrating. I thought we did a lot of good things. I thought we played pretty hard and did some really good things offensively, but our inability to make wide open shots and free throws ends up getting us beat.” -Pistons head coach Stan Van Gundy


  • Detroit and Indiana are now tied 89-89 overall when playing each other
  • The Pacers are now 10-2 when Rodney Stuckey scores 20 or more points
  • After going just 4-of-22 from beyond the arc in their last game, the Pacers sunk 11 of their 19 3-point attempts (57.9%)

Stat of the Night

The Pacers' 29 team assists were their most since a March 10 game when they dished out 37 against the Magic. Prior to that, you have to go back until late December to find a game in which the Blue & Gold compiled 29 or more team assists.

Up Next

The Pacers return home to Bankers Life Fieldhouse for a Sunday matchup against Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder at 6 PM. Select seats still available » Get Tickets Now