Coming off an overtime win against the Magic, the Pacers headed North to take on the Detroit Pistons in Little Caesars Arena.
An all-too-familiar ending played out for the Blue & Gold, as the squad saw a late lead slip away. With Indiana leading 105-99, the Pistons mounted a 12-1 run over the final 2:55 to secure a 111-106 victory.
"They finished the game the way they started it," Rick Carlisle said. "With a flurry. You have to give them credit for that."
The Pacers (22-43) had a chance to tie with around 10 seconds left. But, Jalen Smith’s baseline look rattled out. Detroit (17-47) then finished the game at the charity stripe on the other end.
Both Smith (12 points, 11 rebounds) and Isaiah Jackson (12 points, 10 rebounds) finished with double-doubles. The Detroit native's 10 boards tied his career-high. Additionally, Malcolm Brogdon recorded a game-high 26 points. Duane Washington Jr. and Buddy Hield each finished with 16 points. Saddiq Bey finished with 25 points to lead Detroit.
A hot start from Jackson (five points, three rebounds, one block in two minutes) propelled the Pacers to an early advantage. But, Detroit rallied with seven unanswered – five from Bey – to take away the lead. The squads remained in a tight battle before Indiana called the first timeout. 7:09 remained in the first quarter.
Using triples from Bey and former Pacer Cory Joseph, Detroit stretched its lead to seven. When Brogdon banked in his third bucket, Isaiah Stewart matched him on the other end with a tip-in. The Pistons led 27-20 with 4:10 left.
Bey continued to stay hot from deep, as his third triple fell at the 2:23 mark and stretched Detroit’s lead to 35-23. But, Indiana worked to trim the lead to single digits (39-32) in the final minute.
Detroit drained four more triples – two each from Rodney McGruder and Kelly Olynyk – in the first 3:17 of the second quarter to earn a 53-38 advantage. It appeared as if Detroit could not miss. At the 7:10 mark, Hamidou Diallo fired a jumper long. But, the ball caromed high off the rim and fell through.
Trailing 61-49, the Blue & Gold battled back with eight unanswered to cut the gap to four with 3:13 left. Then, with 2:09 left, Washington Jr. nailed his fourth triple to trim the deficit to 63-60. Down the stretch, both sides clamped down on defense. But, Brogdon hit 1-of-2 at the charity stripe to keep the Pistons’ lead at three.
Detroit managed to earn a seven-point lead with constant offensive pressure early in the third. But, Hield drilled a couple of buckets to keep the Pacers within striking distance. His six-foot floater at the 8:10 mark cut the gap to 74-69.
Detroit appeared to gain momentum, scoring four unanswered to stretch the gap to nine. However, the Blue & Gold mounted a 10-0 run in a 1:56 span to grab a 79-78 lead with 4:43 to play. Tyrese Haliburton forced a Detroit timeout with a crowd-silencing triple from the right wing.
The squads stayed within one possession of each other for the remainder of the frame. Haliburton earned an 88-87 lead on a high-flying slam with 32.2 seconds left. But, the Pistons gained a one-point edge after getting three chances from offensive rebounds.
The Pacers broke the one-possession trend after Oshae Brissett earned a trip to the free-throw line with physical play. With 8:09 left in the fourth, the forward sliced into the paint for his third offensive rebound. Although he missed the bucket, he sank both freebies to earn a 97-93 lead. Just 40 seconds later, Jackson snagged his sixth offensive board – the team’s 21st – to head to the stripe. He sank one to stretch the lead to five. The hustle plays forced a Piston timeout.
However, Detroit then used the offensive boards to their benefit. After a missed free-throw, a Piston big man tapped the ball out to Bey on the perimeter. Bey obliged and drilled the triple, knotting the score at 98 with 5:50 remaining.
Leading 100-99 with 3:16 left, Brogdon nailed a 28-foot triple from straight away. On the ensuing Detroit possession, Haliburton swatted away Cade Cunningham’s attempt. The Blue & Gold rushed up the floor for an easy transition dunk. Indiana led 105-99 with 2:55 to play.
However, the Pistons continued to fight. Cunningham and Bey sank back-to-back triples to tie the game with 1:40 to go.
Jackson broke the tie with a free throw. But, Cunningham earned a one-point edge with a layup at the 1:09 mark. Brogdon tried to respond, but his attempt bounced long.
The Blue & Gold had an opportunity with 35 seconds remaining. Haliburton lined up a deep three to take a two-point lead. However, his attempt kicked to the right. The Pacers then intentionally fouled Jerami Grant. The forward stretched the lead to 109-106 with 19.1 seconds remaining.
On the final possession, Brogdon drove the paint and kicked out to a wide-open Smith along the baseline. Unfortunately, Smith did not get the lucky bounce needed to send the game into overtime.
Inside the Numbers
Although the 3-ball was off (10-for-40), the Pacers scored 56 points in the paint on 28-of-55 shooting.
Jackson corralled a career-high six offensive rebounds.
Washington Jr. finished 4-of-8 (50 percent) from beyond the arc – a team-best.
New Piston Marvin Bagley III hurt the Pacers from the bench. He finished with 18 points on 9-of-16 shooting and eight rebounds.
You Can Quote Me On That
"They did a good job switching (during) the last six minutes of the game. We did a good job for 38 minutes as far as moving, cutting, screening, and creating for each other. I think the ball got a little stagnant. And it's a make-or-miss league. You make a couple of shots, and we head out here with a W." –Washington on the final minutes of the game
"It was fun. I have a bunch of family out. I heard them cheering for me. I know they were here tonight. It felt good. When I went out there, I just had fun and played my brand of basketball. And I'll get to see them after." –Jackson on playing in his hometown for the first time as an NBA player
Stat of the Night
Indiana hauled in a season-high 21 offensive rebounds for 25 second-chance points.
- Goga Bitadze did not play due to a sore left foot.
- Buddy Hield has finished in double figures in all nine of his Pacers games this season.
- The Pacers are now 5-16 in games decided by five points or fewer.
The Pacers wrap up their four-game road trip in Washington against the Wizards on Sunday, March 6 at 6:00 PM ET.
After a four-game road trip, the Pacers return home to host Caris LeVert and the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday, March 8 at 7:00 PM ET. Find Tickets »