AUBURN HILLS, MI – After a buzzer-beating loss against Brooklyn on Friday, the Detroit Pistons showed no signs of fatigue Saturday through three quarters against the Indiana Pacers. Then, everything fell apart.
Indiana went on an 11-0 run in the fourth quarter to put away Detroit (7-19), who had trimmed the Pacers’ lead down to two points with 8:56 left in regulation. A 68-66 Indiana advantage quickly became 79-66 by the 3:15 mark, and the Pacers never looked back on their way to a 88-77 win.
“Our goal is to be the best defensive team in the league, and I think we showed that tonight,” said Pacers coach Frank Vogel. “I’m very pleased with the way we played on defense.”
Indiana held Detroit to 38.6% shooting, and shot 48.6% as a team. David West led the Pacers with 23 points, 13 of which came in the 4th quarter. The 32-year-old forward was 6-7 from the floor, despite playing just over 8 minutes in the final quarter.
“Everybody just tried to do their part,” said West. “I thought our guys held up and did what we were supposed to do.”
Detroit was led by Greg Monroe’s 18 points and 8 rebounds. Rodney Stuckey had 15 points and 7 assists off the bench, and rookie Andre Drummond pitched in 11 points and 9 rebounds. Brandon Knight also had 14 points, but the Pistons couldn’t late in the game.
“I think certainly we were tired down the stretch,” said Monroe, the Pistons’ leading scorer. “But we can’t make excuses for that.”
“Guys are always going to be tired,” added Pistons coach Lawrence Frank. “But you have to fight as well.”
The loss is the Pistons’ fourth consecutive, and eighth in the last 10 games. Indiana has won three straight games.
Pacers center Roy Hibbert went down in the second quarter with a bruised thigh and did not return. The extent of his injury is unknown, but does not appear to be serious. Hibbert spent the 2nd half watching from the Pacers bench.
Detroit hosts the L.A. Clippers on Monday then travels to Toronto on Wednesday. Indiana plays at Milwaukee on Tuesday before returning home Wednesday against Utah.