clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Pacers final score: Pacers push past Pistons 121-115

Indiana held on to beat Detroit as both teams played shorthanded, giving the Pacers their second straight win. Jalen Smith (20 points, nine rebounds) and Isaiah Jackson (19 points, 11 rebounds) each had big nights in the win.

NBA: Indiana Pacers at Detroit Pistons Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Given the injury reports for both teams, there wasn’t exactly a ton of intrigue leading into tonight’s matchup between the Indiana Pacers and Detroit Pistons, but the Pacers still managed to make things exciting, pulling out the win against Detroit. The Pacers led most of the way, but struggled to deliver a knockout punch, letting the Pistons back into it again and again.

Each time, however, the Pacers composed themselves, pushing their lead back out to double figures. Indiana led by as many as 16 in the first half, but allowed Detroit to slice into the lead after they blanked in the final 2:30 of the second quarter. There weren’t a ton of offensive struggles tonight, but that stretch and the third quarter proved to be the bulk of it as Detroit tied the game early in the third.

Though the Pacers would push the lead back out to seven, that would prove temporary given how poorly they shot in the quarter, going just 8-28 and 2-14 from three. That allowed the Pistons to again tie the game at 90-90 heading into the fourth, breaking through with an early fourth quarter lead.

Jalen Smith came up big at that juncture, scoring nine in a 16-7 run that put the Pacers up for good. Indiana’s vets, George Hill and James Johnson, would help extend the lead into double figures, giving Indiana some breathing room to hold off Detroit down the stretch to pick up their second straight win.

Smith led the way for the Pacers with 20 points, pulling in nine rebounds and blocking two shots. He and Isaiah Jackson manned the center minutes tonight absent Myles Turner, and it was a superb showing for both against Detroit’s own bigs in Marvin Bagley III, James Wiseman, and Jalen Duren.

Jackson scored 19 points with 11 rebounds, six on the offensive end, only getting tripped up by first half foul trouble. The duo combined for 39 points and 20 rebounds, shooting 14-21 from the field and 11-13 from the line to help Indiana to a dominating effort on the glass, outrebounding the Pistons by 16. That allowed the Pacers to 26 second chance points.

Andrew Nembhard performed well as the primary point guard tonight with Tyrese Haliburton out, scoring 19 points with a team high eight assists. He shot extremely well in the first half, going 5-8, including a pair of threes. That proved valuable on a night the Pacers shot just 26% from three, connecting on nine.

Buddy Hield knocked in three himself, finishing with 17 points while Jordan Nwora pitched in with two for his 11 points. Oshae Brissett provided a big boost off the bench with 11 of his own points, pulling in seven rebounds, three on the offensive end. Johnson had a season high with eight, he and Hill combining for eight assists on the night.

Tonight’s win moves Indiana to within a half game of the 10th seed at 31-37, improving to 6-3 in their last nine games and 4-1 on the road. They’ll look to make that 5-1 when they play these same Pistons again on Monday night, though maybe both teams will have a few extra bodies available.