The failure to fully seize momentum against the Detroit Pistons pushed the Indiana Pacers into their second straight loss, wrapping up their six game home stand on a down note. The Pacers struggled early with turnovers and struggled late with shot making, rounding out another poor performance from the blue and gold, eventually leading to another comeback attempt stalling late.
Indiana had a pair of impressive runs, one late in the second quarter when they took the lead on an 11-0 run and again late in the fourth quarter when they trimmed a 14-point deficit to just two. It was everything outside of those stretches that doomed the Pacers, including the final 90 seconds when Indiana missed their final five shots leading to the loss.
The Pacers outrebounded Detroit, but the tone of the game was set early with their inability to rebound. The Pistons scored nine second chance points in the first quarter, which helped push them to an eight point lead after one. The Pistons did persevere in blocking shots however, turning four first quarter blocks into 10 for the game, including a game sealing block with 13 seconds remaining.
Victor Oladipo led the Pacers with 26 points, but did so again in an inefficient manner, shooting 8-22 from the floor. It’s no surprise Indiana’s most competitive moments in the game came when Oladipo played his best. In the two stretches late in the second and late in the fourth, Oladipo hit four threes and scored 17 points, all in the course of seven minutes of game action.
It was unfortunately the rest of the night that didn’t go so well for Oladipo or the Pacers, who as a team shot just 40.2%. The Pistons shot just 41.9%, but four extra threes, and a 19-14 advantage in points off turnovers helped push them over the edge, led by Andre Drummond, scoring 23 points with 13 rebounds (six offensive) with three blocks.
Myles Turner struggled against Drummond, which isn’t a surprise, but did play well elsewhere to keep pace, scoring 24 points and pulling in eight boards, including three of Indiana’s 15 offensive rebounds. Domantas Sabonis led the offensive rebounding effort with four, totaling seven with 11 points while Thaddeus Young had three offensive boards as part of an 11 and eight night.
The Pacers wrap up their home stand at 4-2, a disappointing finish after starting 4-0. They’ll hit the road for a night when they face the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday. It’s the first of two meetings with the Nets in a week’s time, in a stretch when they play three of four games against below .500 teams, giving them an opportunity to get back on track heading into Christmas.