Pacers vs Pistons

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by Wheat Hotchkiss Writer/Editor

Game Rewind: Pacers 111, Pistons 95

Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021 at 8:00 PM ET at Little Caesars Arena

Game Recap

The Pacers finally got back in the win column on Thursday night in Detroit, dominating the second half to come away with a 111-95 win over the Pistons (6-19) on the second night of a back-to-back.

The victory was the first for Indiana (13-13) since Feb. 2, snapping a four-game losing streak.

The Pacers ended their skid thanks in large part to a bounce-back performance from Domantas Sabonis. The 6-11 forward looked more like his All-Star self on Thursday, flirting with a triple-double while tallying 26 points on 9-of-14 shooting, eight rebounds, eight assists, two blocks, and three steals.

"We just came out with a lot of energy. We knew we had to win this game," Sabonis said. "A four-game losing streak is not a lot of fun, especially on a team with a bunch of good guys. We just want to play for each other and I feel like today we did that."

The Pacers got off to another slow start on Thursday, falling into an early 9-2 hole. But they quickly righted the ship by placing a heavy focus on getting to the rim.

Indiana scored 16 of its first 18 points in the paint before T.J. McConnell hit the Blue & Gold's first 3-pointer of the night to cap a 19-6 Pacers run. Sabonis scored 11 points in the opening frame and his buzzer-beating three gave the visitors a 28-19 lead entering the second quarter.

The Pacers led 40-32 following Jeremy Lamb's 3-pointer with 7:16 remaining in the first half before the Pistons reeled off nine unanswered points, retaking the lead on Jerami Grant's triple at 4:39.

That was the first of five lead changes in the closing minutes of the second quarter, but another three from Sabonis in the closing seconds knotted the score at 52 heading into the intermission.

The Pacers surged ahead in the third quarter thanks to a 16-3 run, holding the Pistons without a field goal for six full minutes of game time. Malcolm Brogdon and Myles Turner led the offensive attack in the frame, with Brogdon scoring 10 points and Turner adding nine points and five rebounds as Indiana took an 82-70 lead into the fourth quarter.

The Blue & Gold quelled any thoughts of a Pistons rally in the final frame. Instead, the Pacers extended their lead in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter, taking a 95-78 advantage thanks to Justin Holiday's four-point play with 7:44 remaining.

That proved to be more than enough, as the Pacers cruised down the stretch for a much-needed win.

"When they made their runs, the couple runs that they had in that game, we didn't let them last that long," Pacers head coach Nate Bjorkgren said. "I thought we bounced back from some of the lows over the course of the game."

Brogdon finished with 18 points, nine rebounds, and four assists. Lamb scored 17 points off the bench, going 6-for-7 from the field and 3-for-3 from 3-point range, while Turner added 14 points on 6-of-9 shooting, eight rebounds, and two blocks in just 24 minutes.

Josh Jackson led Detroit with 18 points, eight rebounds, and four assists off the bench. Rookie Isaiah Stewart added 17 points and seven rebounds, while Blake Griffin finished with 16 points and six assists.

The Pacers will now try to secure a winning record on their three-game road trip on Saturday night in Atlanta before returning to Bankers Life Fieldhouse to host the Chicago Bulls on Monday.

Inside the Numbers

Sabonis had gone just 17-for-52 over his past three games prior to Thursday, but went a more typical 9-for-14 from the field against the Pistons.

After starting Lamb for the past eight games, Bjorkgren inserted Doug McDermott back into the starting lineup on Thursday and brought Lamb off the bench. It didn't hurt Lamb, who scored in double figures for the 10th time in 13 games this season.

After shooting under 40 percent in each of their previous two games, the Pacers converted 51.2 percent of their shots against Detroit.

The Pacers committed just nine turnovers on Thursday, matching their season low. They also had just nine giveaways on Jan. 2 against New York and on Sunday against Utah.

Turner added two blocks to his league-leading total and now has swatted at least one shot in 42 consecutive games, the second-longest streak in franchise history. Jermaine O'Neal blocked a shot in 54 straight games from April 17, 2006 to March 3, 2007.

You Can Quote Me On That

"Any time you can snag a win, especially on the road, it feels good. But coming off a four-game losing streak (after) dropping games we should have won, credit to our group and the coaching staff. We came ready to play, we came out hungry, and we came out with a win." -Pacers guard T.J. McConnell on snapping the losing streak

"I feel like everybody came out with a mindset that enough was enough. We just needed to get a win, no matter how it was...we just really focused on getting everybody involve." -Sabonis

"I thought our transition defense was pretty good. I thought we guarded the ball better tonight. And (we had) a lot of deflections early in that game tonight, too. I thought we were disruptive. I thought we were pressed up to our shooters on the catch." -Bjorkgren

"All it comes down to is defense and getting stops. We really buckled down defensively, we were talking, communicating, and really just connected on the defensive end. Then we were able to get out and run and get to our game in transition where we're really deadly." -McConnell

"I thought (Myles) made some nice plays tonight around the rim, he had some nice cuts. I thought we were moving it better. And Malcolm in the first quarter did a good job of getting everyone involved early." -Bjorkgren

Stat of the Night

The Pacers outscored Detroit by 27 points from beyond the 3-point arc on Thursday, going 14-for-31 (45.2 percent) from long distance while limiting the Pistons to just 5-of-28 (17.9 percent) 3-point shooting.


  • The Pacers are now 4-1 on the season when playing on the second night of a back-to-back.
  • Indiana had dropped two straight and five of its last six in Detroit prior to Thursday.
  • Pistons center Mason Plumlee, who had started all 24 games so far this season, missed Thursday's contest due to right elbow bursitis. Stewart, the 16th overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, got his first start in place of Plumlee.
  • Dennis Smith Jr. made his debut for Detroit on Thursday after being traded to the Pistons along with a second-round pick in exchange for Derrick Rose on Monday. Smith had four points on 2-of-5 shooting and two rebounds in 16 minutes off the bench.

Up Next

The Pacers will wrap up a three-game road trip in Atlanta when they take on Trae Young and the Hawks on Saturday, Feb. 13 at 7:30 PM ET.


A limited number of tickets for all upcoming Pacers home games from January 24 through March 4 are now on sale. Single Game Tickets »   Health & Safety Guidelines »

Game Recap: Pacers 111, Pistons 95

The Pacers defeated the Pistons, 111-95. Domantas Sabonis led the way for the Pacers with 26 points, eight rebounds, eight assists, three steals and two blocks, while Josh Jackson tallied 18 points, e

Postgame 210211

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Game Recap: Pacers 111, Pistons 95

The Pacers defeated the Pistons, 111-95. Domantas Sabonis led the way for the Pacers with 26 points, eight rebounds, eight assists, three steals and two blocks, while Josh Jackson tallied 18 points, e
Feb 11, 2021  |  00:01

Postgame: Pacers Locker Room – Feb. 11, 2021

Feb. 11, 2021 – Nate Bjorkgren, T.J. McConnell, and Domantas Sabonis speak with the media following the Pacers 111-95 win over the Detroit Pistons.
Feb 11, 2021  |  01:54

Domantas Sabonis (26 points) Highlights vs. Detroit Pistons

Domantas Sabonis (26 points) Highlights vs. Detroit Pistons, 02/11/2021
Feb 11, 2021  |  00:01

Pacers Pouring It On

February 11, 2021: Malcolm Brogdon gives Indiana a 19-point lead.
Feb 11, 2021  |  00:10

Another Three for Justin

February 11, 2021: Justin Holiday is good again from deep.
Feb 11, 2021  |  00:09

Brogdon from Deep

February 11, 2021: Malcolm Brogdon makes the triple.
Feb 11, 2021  |  00:06

Pull-Up Three by Lamb

February 11, 2021: Jeremy Lamb crosses half court and hits the 3-pointer.
Feb 11, 2021  |  00:13

Domas Beats the Buzzer

February 11, 2021: Domantas Sabonis end the first quarter with a buzzer-beating three.
Feb 11, 2021  |  00:10

McConnell in the Corner

February 11, 2021: T.J. McConnell knocks down the corner 3-pointer.
Feb 11, 2021  |  00:12

Dunk for Justin Holiday

February 11, 2021: Justin Holiday makes a nice cut for the dunk.
Feb 11, 2021  |  00:10

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