Pistons fend off comeback by Pacers
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[December 16, 2017]
INDIANAPOLIS -- Detroit Pistons
coach Stan Van Gundy insisted the thought never crossed his mind
about how his team blew a 22-point lead in a collapse last month at
Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
But as the Indiana Pacers rallied late once again, quickly cutting a
16-point deficit to just two in the final quarter, Pistons players
admittedly experienced deja vu, at least for an anxious moment or
"We felt it coming again, but we were like, 'Nah, not today,'"
forward Stanley Johnson said of the Pistons holding of the Pacers
for a 104-98 road victory.
Guard Reggie Jackson hit two key free throws to provide a 102-98
lead with 18.1 seconds remaining.
Pistons center Andre Drummond, who scored 23 points and grabbed 13
rebounds, blocked Victor Oladipo's step-back 3-point attempt on the
next possession to seal the win. Drummond also added a three-point
play off an offensive rebound basket down the stretch.
"When he's playing like that, being a monster, this is our guy,"
forward Reggie Bullock said of the 6-11, 279-pound Drummond. "When
his energy is up the team's energy is up and we just feed off him."
Bullock contributed a season-high 15 points.
"We had a tough fourth quarter, but we were able to just grind it
out," Van Gundy said.
The Pistons (16-13) were not able to do that on Nov. 17, when they
lost 107-100 at Indiana despite leading by 10 entering the final
quarter. This time, the lead reached 16 in the final quarter before
the Pacers (16-13) made it interesting with a 9-0 run.
"I don't know what's up with us," said Pacers center Myles Turner,
who had 24 points and eight rebounds. "It's like we play better
coming from behind, but we can't be that team coming down the
stretch. We can't put ourselves in that position."
Oladipo led Indiana with 26 points, but the Pistons made him work
for it with 8-of-22 shooting.
"The thing about basketball is you're going to be put in that
position more than once," Oladipo said of the Pacers' inability to
finish late. "Sometimes you're going to come out on top, sometimes
you're not. The biggest thing is you just can't get too down on
yourself and you just got to continue to keep lifting each other up.
Stay positive. Stay aggressive."
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Pacers guard Darren Collison (2) takes a shot against Detroit
Pistons forward Eric Moreland (24) during the fourth quarter at
Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY
The Pistons won their second straight road game on back-to-back
nights after enduring a seven-game losing streak.
"We were able to win on the road and hold a great offensive team to
under 100 points," Van Gundy said, "so I'm really proud of the
The Pacers lost their second consecutive home game after a four-game
"The third quarter, we normally have good starts," Pacers guard
Darren Collison said of the Pistons opening the second half on a 7-0
run. "We've got to be better. No excuses. We've got to be better."
Thaddeus Young scored 12 points for Indiana and Collison added 10.
NOTES: Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy celebrated his 500th career NBA
victory. ... Pistons C Andre Drummond had his 20th double-double of
the season. ... NBA Hall of Famer Arvydas Sabonis, father of Pacers
F Domantas Sabonis, was in attendance to watch his son play. ... The
Pistons defeated the Pacers for just the second time in 11 meetings
and snapped a six-game losing streak at Indiana. ... Pistons rookie
G Luke Kennard scored nine points in his first career NBA start as
Avery Bradley rested with a hip injury. ... The Pacers concluded a
six-game homestead that was the franchise's longest since a six-game
stretch in 2007. ... Pacers C Myles Turner, the league leader in
blocked shots (2.43 blocks per game), extended a streak of at least
one blocked shot to 26 consecutive games, third longest in team
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