Pacers final score: Pacers hold on to beat Pistons, 99-91

Gregory Shamus

The Pacers maintained their status as the NBA only unbeaten team, but it sure wasn't easy in Detroit.

The Indiana Pacers started strong and finished stronger to hold off the Detroit Pistons and move their record to 4-0 with a 99-91 win at The Palace.

The Pacers jumped out to a big 29-14 lead in the first quarter as Paul George came out smoking with 12 points in the opening frame, while looking as confident as he ever has on the offensive end. PG's play seemed to lift his teammates as everything was rolling early.

Then thud.

Pacers made just four of 19 shots in the second quarter as the Pistons threw some physical play and zone defense at the Pacers and they didn't respond well. The reserve unit let the bulk of the big lead slip away and then the starters drained the pool to end the half, truly struggling to get a good shot, let alone make one.

Josh Smith and Will Bynum ran things for the Pistons, while Andre Drummond made sure nothing light around the bucket made it to the rim. Smith fired a few of his patented ill-advised perimeter shots, but still finished the half with 9 points as the Pistons erased the early 15-point deficit to take a three-point lead to halftime.

Pacers quickly answered the call for a better effort in the third quarter, taking back the lead thanks to an 11-0 run fueled by PG and Lance Stephenson which was the start of a 36-point quarter. The Pacers then threw in another 15-2 run in the fourth quarter as they seized the game and absolutely buried the Pistons with play after play at both ends of the floor. After pushing the lead back to 19 points, the Pistons made a valiant garbage-time comeback which made the final score far closer than it ever should've been.

Roy Hibbert held down the defense during the run with three of his seven blocks during the Pacers big run in the fourth quarter, while adding eight points and 10 rebounds. The electric play of Paul George continued as the Pacers rising star finished with 31 points, 10 rebounds, four steal, four assists and several fantastic finishes both around the rim and on the perimeter, including this beauty on the feed from Hibbert.

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