USA TODAY Sports
Frank Vogel relied on his bench to hold things together in Detroit which let the team's stars put the game away down the stretch.
The Pacers have had few wins recently that didn't require a great team effort and strong contributions from at least three or four players. But their 88-77 win over the Detroit Pistons on Saturday night was REALLY a strong team effort.
Consider the negative circumstances with Lance Stephenson remained out with an ankle, Roy Hibbert was knocked out late in the first half with a thigh contusion and David West had to have his minutes managed to deal with foul trouble.
George Hill and Paul George showed up ready to play heavy minutes on the back-to-back with no problem. Hill, again hit some key threes down the stretch and while PG's three-point shot abandoned him for the first time in a couple of week, he found other ways to make plays on the court. George still finished with 15 points but also grabbed eight rebounds and four steals and dished out eight assists including a pair of beauties to David West as the Pacers closed out the win.
Oh, yeah, David West was ready to go when the fourth quarter rolled around, finishing with 13 of his 23 points down the stretch. Just killed 'em.
Off the bench, Jeff Pendergraph stepped up to start the second half in place of Hibbert and brought a great effort along with him, stirring things up and giving the Pacers some quality minutes in his first meaningful court time of the year. Tyler Hansbrough also stirred things up in his minutes off the bench.
That included getting thrown like a rag doll against the basket by rookie Andre Drummond. The act went unnoticed which was strange, but Hansbrough was cash in a bucket at the other end so all was good.
The Pacers delivered the type of quality win on the road that they absolutely have to secure, regardless of circumstances, to maintain a solid standing in the Eastern Conference playoff race. With Brooklyn, Boston and Milwaukee all losing, it turned out to be a great night for the Pacers.
Check out the links:
- Pacers at Pistons - Box score and highlights
- Game Rewind: Pacers 88, Pistons 77 | THE OFFICIAL SITE OF THE INDIANA PACERS
- Hibbert leaves game early with injury, Pacers upend Pistons 88-77 | Indianapolis Star | indystar.com
- West scores 23 as Pacers beat Pistons for third straight | 1070 The Fan – Opinion & Analysis
- Pacers: Pendergraph steps in during a time of need | Pacers Insider | The Indianapolis Star | IndyStar.com
- Pistons, Pacers: Tired Pistons can't keep up with Pacers, fall 88-77 - Detroit Bad Boys
- Pistons hang tough until last 9 minutes then crumble to Pacers, 88-77 | Detroit Pistons | Detroit Free Press | freep.com
- Detroit Pistons' Andre Drummond hears the fan rumblings about starting him, tries to ignore them | MLive.com