Pacers vs Pistons

Game Recap: Pacers 116, Pistons 111

In his highest scoring game as a member of the Pacers, Caris LeVert tallied 28 points, six rebounds and four assists, including a step-back 3pt FG with 4.7 seconds remaining to put the Pacers up five

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Game Recap: Pacers 116, Pistons 111

In his highest scoring game as a member of the Pacers, Caris LeVert tallied 28 points, six rebounds and four assists, including a step-back 3pt FG with 4.7 seconds remaining to put the Pacers up five
Mar 24, 2021  |  00:02

Postgame: Pacers Locker Room – March 24, 2021

March 24, 2021 – Nate Bjorkgren, Caris LeVert, and Edmond Sumner speak with the media following Indiana's 116-111 win over the Detroit Pistons at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Mar 24, 2021  |  02:21

Caris LeVert scores 28 including clutch 3

Caris LeVert scores 28 including clutch 3
Mar 24, 2021  |  00:02

LeVert With the Clutch Three

March 24, 2021 - Caris LeVert creates space and steps back for the clutch 3-pointer.
Mar 24, 2021  |  00:19

Sumner With the Tough Drive

March 24, 2021 - Edmond Sumner drives strong to the rim and hits the tough finish.
Mar 24, 2021  |  00:07

Sumner and LeVert Connect on the Fastbreak

March 24, 2021 - Edmond Sumner leaves it off for Caris LeVert for the fastbreak finish.
Mar 24, 2021  |  00:09

Goga's Block Leads to Lamb's Three

March 24, 2021 - Goga Bitadze blocks the shot, and the Pacers take it back down the floor, ending up with a Jeremy Lamb 3-pointer.
Mar 24, 2021  |  00:12

Holiday Cuts For the Dunk

March 24, 2021 - Domantas Sabonis finds Justin Holiday cutting to the baseline for the dunk.
Mar 24, 2021  |  00:06

LeVert Gets Out on the Run

March 24, 2021 - Caris LeVert shows his speed to get ahead on the fastbreak and finish strong.
Mar 24, 2021  |  00:11

Caris Takes His Man Off the Dribble

March 24, 2021 - Caris LeVert takes his man off the dribble and gets all the way to the rim.
Mar 24, 2021  |  00:08

Sumner Reloads for Three

March 24, 2021 - Great ball movement gets the defense scrambling, and Edmond Sumner pump fakes and hits the 3-pointer.
Mar 24, 2021  |  00:10

Sabonis Scores off the Turnover

March 24, 2021 - Domantas Sabonis finishes down low after the Pacers forced the turnover.
Mar 24, 2021  |  00:11

LeVert Drives to the Rim

March 24, 2021 - Caris LeVert drives down the lane for the layup.
Mar 24, 2021  |  00:07

Game Rewind: Pacers 116, Pistons 111

Wednesday, March 24, 2021 at 7:00 PM ET at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
by Brendan Rourke
Pacers.com Contributor

Recap

It was only a matter of time before Caris LeVert put it all together.

Leading 111-109 with 5.7 seconds remaining, the newest Pacer iced the game with a cold-blooded 3-point shot from the right wing – his fourth of the night – to secure a hard-fought, 116-111 victory for the Blue & Gold (20-23) over the Detroit Pistons (12-31). The former Nets guard finished with a team-high 28 points, including 15 in the second quarter, to help break the squad's six-game home losing streak.

"It felt big," he said postgame of his shot in front of a home crowd. "It felt huge. It was huge to get the win tonight, especially when the game was up in the air down the stretch. I love fourth quarters. I love big moments."

Edmond Sumner finished with a bench-high 18 points – 13 in the fourth alone to earn Indiana's third win out of its last four contests. Malcolm Brogdon (16), Justin Holiday (14), and Domantas Sabonis (14) also finished in double figures for the Blue & Gold.

"The defensive end was giving me confidence on the offensive end," Sumner said of his performance.

"I saw a few shots go in. T.J. (McConnell) was setting me up well. Once you see a few go in – I'm here for a reason, so my confidence is going to skyrocket."

Indiana overcame another slow first-quarter start en route to its win. The squad made just three of their first eight attempts from the floor. Thankfully, the defense forced a rough offensive introduction of the Pistons. After Detroit nailed their first three shots, the Pacers' defense held the Pistons to just one field goal over a 5:03 span. Domantas Sabonis' layup at the 7:24 mark gave Indiana its first lead, 10-9.

But the shooting slump eventually caught up to the Pacers as Detroit took over the lead once more. Trailing 14-11, the visitors rattled off seven unanswered, including a three from Wayne Ellington from the right side, to earn an 18-14 lead with 2:38 to play.

Things appeared to head even more South for the squad as Detroit pushed the lead to 24-16 with 1:06 to go. However, the Blue & Gold finished the final minute strong. A pull-up jumper from T.J. McConnell followed by a triple from Sumner – Indiana's first – closed the gap to 24-21 before the end of the first frame. The Pacers finished the period just 9-of-25 from the floor.

McConnell's fast defensive hands combined with Goga Bitadze's play in the paint illustrated a promising start for Indiana in the second. Consecutive buckets for the second-year center earned a 25-24 Pacers lead just over a minute into the frame.

Later on, LeVert began taking over. The former Michigan star's trey earned a slim 35-34 lead for Indiana with 7:37 to go. Including his snipe, LeVert scored the next seven Pacers points. With 6:14 to play, he then dished the rock to Justin Holiday, who obliged with a 3-pointer from the right side. The string of shots gave Indiana a 42-39 lead.

LeVert continued to be Indiana's main offense later in the frame. Leading 49-48, he found six straight uncontested points to push the Pacers lead to seven with 1:17 to go. After Jerami Grant notched a pair of free throws, LeVert found another bucket for a 57-50 lead with 55.3 to go. Grant added one more free throw to cut it to six before the break.

Indiana steadily pushed its lead to double digits, 63-53, in the opening minutes behind a pair of free throws from both LeVert and Sabonis. However, Detroit quickly climbed back into it.

With the Pacers leading 65-55, the Pistons used a 13-3 run, including a string of eight unanswered, to tie the game, 68-68, on Saddiq Bey's euro-step layup at the 6:04 mark.

But the Pacers did not falter. Indiana quickly jumped ahead two possessions behind consecutive buckets from Justin Holiday and a three from Malcolm Brogdon. With 3:25 remaining, McConnell flicked a pass to a cutting Doug McDermott for an easy layup to give the Pacers a 78-72 lead.

Late in the third, the Pacers' reserves managed to increase the margin by one more. Bitadze and Jeremy Lamb combined for consecutive 3-point shots to push the lead to 84-76 with 57.1 seconds to go. After Josh Jackson responded with a trey, McConnell found space in the paint for his signature turnaround jumper for the frame's final points. The Pacers led 86-79 entering the fourth.

Although the Pacers held on through the opening minutes, Detroit kept chipping away. Eventually, the Pistons found Tyler Cook twice in the paint – once on an alley-oop slam – to trim Indiana's lead to 92-90 with 8:55 to play. An Ellington jumper from the left elbow tied the ballgame just 0:32 later.

The Pistons briefly earned a 96-94 lead after Bey's 3-pointer before Sumner caught fire. The former Xavier product recorded eight straight for Indiana, including two confident 3-point shots from the right side, that regained a 102-98 lead with 6:09 to go. He then added two assists to his stellar quarter to keep the Pacers' lead at two possessions.

LeVert and Sabonis' efforts on the offensive end stretched the lead to nine before consecutive buckets from Mason Plumlee and Grant cut the score to 111-106 with 2:17 to go. Coach Nate Bjorkgren called a timeout in an attempt to regroup the squad.

But Indiana remained cold from the floor. Despite several opportunities to extend the lead, the shots simply did not drop. Instead, Grant found a jumper, and Plumlee notched a free throw to trim the lead to 111-109 with 55.1 seconds to go.

With 34.5 seconds to play and the Pistons in control, Delon Wright drove the paint but was halted by Myles Turner. Wright fumbled the ball out of bounds, giving Indiana possession.

In no hurry, Brogdon probed the offensive zone. Sensing the hot shooter, the guard dished the ball to LeVert on the right wing. LeVert took two steps forward, hopped over the arc, and fired.

It sank without a thought.

With time on their side, Sabonis made his free throws to deflate Detroit's sails for good.

Inside the Numbers

The Pacers' defense forced 15 turnovers, turning them into 21 points, while the offense committed just 10 turnovers and surrendering seven points.

To go along with his 14 points, Domantas Sabonis hauled in 11 rebounds for his 32nd double-double of the season.

The Pacers' bench combined to score at least 40 points for the third time over the last four games. They finished with 44 points and combined to shoot 7-for-12 from 3-point range.

You Can Quote Me On That

"It's hard to replicate anything about a real NBA game. You can run as many sprints as you want. You could ride the bike as long as you want. But, when you're running up and down, running off screens, guarding people, you can't replicate that." –LeVert on finding his groove after returning from his condition

"(It was) a very big shot. His legs are getting under him more and more every day. He's feeling better, more comfortable, every day, learning the offensive plays and what we're trying to do out there on the court." –Coach Bjorkgren on LeVert's shot and his improvement

"I think it’s all about the opportunity – just to go out there. The more minutes I get, the more comfortable I get. Today as well. I missed layups. It's just, I have to make those. But over time, I'm getting better and better, I think, with more minutes playing and (being) more comfortable with my teammates out there." –Bitadze on his improvement this season

Stat of the Night

After starting the game 1-of-10 from 3-point range, the Pacers finished the game 14-of-24 from deep.

Noteworthy

  • Indiana has won consecutive games over Detroit for the first time since 2019.
  • The Pacers are now 16-6 when leading after the third quarter this season.
  • Myles Turner added three blocks tonight, increasing his league-leading total to 137.

Up Next

The Pacers travel to Dallas to take on Luka Doncic and the Mavericks on Friday, March 26 at 8:30 PM ET.





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