Through 42 minutes, the Indiana Pacers led the Detroit Pistons 73-71, but a frustrating factor to the game was the it felt as if the Pacers were allowing Detroit to stay alive. In the second and third quarters, the Pistons had outscored Indiana 11-2 in the final two minutes of the middle two quarters with Detroit also scoring at the end of all three quarters to keep them well within striking distance.
But a pair of free throws by Paul George, followed by a driving layup ignited the All-Star offensively. George would score 11 more over the course of the next 90 seconds with three three pointers to help seal the game in Indiana's favor. George scored 21 straight Indiana points in the final 4:47 of the fourth quarter, finishing with a vengeance after looking to tack on another struggling game to his recent struggles, finishing with 32 points and 14 rebounds.
George hit his final seven shots, completely turning around a 2-11, 11-point effort, seven turnover effort to that point. Before George's explosion, the Pacers were locked in a real struggle. The Pacers defense played well enough, holding Detroit under 40%, but struggles to corral offensive rebounds (Pistons had 12 on the night) and an equally woeful night on offense mucked up the game, making it difficult for Indiana to make any sort of push.
George Hill did play well, however, scoring 18 points on 7-8 shooting, living on his floater. Monta Ellis was the only other Pacers in double figures, scoring 14 on 5-14 shooting. Jordan Hill and C.J. Miles each had eight off the bench, but once again, it was the defensive effort of Solomon Hill that carried Indiana in the fourth quarter. Solo had five rebounds and a pair of blocks on a single possession to lead the way for Indiana early in the fourth, coming up with the final two non-Paul George points of the night, driving in for a layup as part of his four points.
There was a brief altercation at the end of the game that could have ramifications moving forward. Andre Drummond (12 points, 18 rebounds on the night) forced a turnover down 12 with six seconds remaining. George looked to return the favor on Marcus Morris, leading the two to jaw and Morris shoving George after the buzzer had sounded. Rodney Stuckey came off the bench, which during live action would've resulted in an automatic suspension, but with the game being over, it'll be interesting to see how the altercation is handled by the league.
Beside that, Indiana not only came up with a much needed win, but did so on the defensive end of the floor, holding Detroit to 35.5% from the floor and 82, their second lowest allowed, and the second time they've held Detroit to such a number, defeating them 94-82 for their first win of the season back in November. Getting the win tonight was big for Indiana, who will play nine of their next 11 on the road, starting with a trip south to face the Miami Heat on Monday.