Game Rewind: Pacers 83, Pistons 107

Game Recap

For the past few weeks, the Pacers have spent their nights rallying from large deficits for a number of come-from-behind wins.

But on Tuesday night, on the road in Detroit, the Pacers (19-15) were unable to recover from the Pistons' 23-point lead in the first half, falling 107-83 to their Central Division foes.

"I have no explanation for that, absolutely none," said Pacers head coach Nate McMillan about Indiana's early deficit. "Teams are going to come in ready for us."

Despite a valiant rally in the second quarter, the game was almost ended in the first quarter, as Detroit (19-14) outscored the Pacers 40-19 to build a dominating early lead. At the helm of the Pistons' attack was Tobias Harris, who was able to sink his first six 3-point attempts, scoring 21 points in the first quarter alone. Harris finished his night with a game-best 30.

Trailing by 21 just 12 minutes into the game, the Pacers' bench came out strong, opening up the second quarter with an 11-0 run to bring the Blue & Gold hope of another inspiring comeback.

But in the final minutes of the half, Detroit's bruising starting unit landed another blow, as Reggie Jackson canned a triple, then fed Andre Drummond on an alley-oop, moving the Pistons' lead from 10 to 15.

While the Pacers outscored the Pistons 26-18 in the second quarter, the overpowering first quarter loomed large as Detroit carried a 13-point lead into the locker room.

In the third quarter, the Pistons starting unit got off to another quick start, outscoring the Pacers 12-6 over the first five minutes as the lead ballooned back up for Detroit.

Midway through the quarter, Jackson, one of the Pistons' leading scorers, turned his right ankle, causing a stoppage. He did not return to the game.

At the end of the third, the Pistons had outscored the Pacers 24-21, taking a 16-point lead into the fourth quarter.

In the fourth, Detroit's offense continued to percolate, as Harris and company were able to keep the Pacers at arm's length down the stretch. With the game well in hand and a meeting with Dallas on Wednesday, Pacers head coach Nate McMillan emptied his bench.

"Teams are coming ready to play, so we've got to be ready to play, too," said Oladipo after the game. "We've just got to do a better job of being ready from the start"

The Pacers' offense simply couldn't get it going against Detroit's high-pressure defense, scoring a season-low 83 points. Indiana's leading scorer was Oladipo, who totalled just 13 on the night. Three other players — Bojan Bogdanovic, Myles Turner, and Domantas Sabonis — finished with 10.

As a team, the Pacers were decimated on the boards, getting outrebounded by the Drummond and company to the tune of 46-26, including a 10-5 Detroit edge on the offensive glass.

The loss is stinging for the Pacers not just because of the 24-point margin of defeat, but because of the possible implications down the line. Detroit has officially captured the season series, winning three of the four matchups between the teams. If the Pacers and Pistons hold the same record at season's end, Detroit will win the tiebreaker and be awarded the higher playoff seed.

"We're going to have to be better," said McMillan when asked on possible fixes to the slow starts. "We might have to look at some changes, but we certainly have to be better, whichever group we have out there"

Inside the Numbers

Detroit made 50 percent of its shots from the field, compared to 44.2 percent from Indiana.

Tobias Harris of the Pistons made 7-of-8 3-point shots on the night, racking up 30 points and six rebounds.

The Pacers got to the free throw line just 13 times, making nine of them (69.2 percent)

You Can Quote Me On That

"I mean they had Christmas, too. So there isn't any hangover, we just weren't ready to play and they were." -Oladipo on whether playing after Christmas played a role

"They see what we're doing and they're looking at our record and we've been playing good basketball. I think teams are coming in prepared to play and we are getting off to slow starts where defensively we're just not stopping anybody. We're just digging a hole for ourselves and I have no explanation for that." -Nate McMillan

"We outrebounded them by 20. It's interesting because it was a relatively easy win and other than Tobias (Harris) we didn't shoot the ball very well, particularly from distance. That's usually when we've had easy wins. We struggled from there tonight. Outside of him, we're 5-for-26, but we outrebound them by 20 and played pretty good defense, so we were able to get the job done." -Pistons head coach Stan Van Gundy


  • Cory Joseph needs three assists to reach 1000 for his career
  • Alex Poythress' 22 minutes were a season high. Poythress scored four points and was a team-best +15 while on the floor
  • The Pacers still lead the all-time series with Detroit 97-93
  • 2017-18 is the first season in which the Pistons have won three games against the Pacers since 2007-08

Stat of the Night

The Pacers had scored 95 or more points in the first 33 games of their season, good for fourth on the all-time list. With an output of 83 points, Indiana's streak officially comes to an end at 33, leaving the 1991-92 Warriors (82 straight games), 1991-92 Pacers (64), and 1990-91 Nuggets (63) streaks intact.

Up Next

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 »

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 »</strong