Indianapolis (TSN) – The Indiana Pacers return home from a largely unsuccessful road trip Wednesday night to take on their Central Division rivals, the Detroit Pistons.
The Pacers went 1-3 on their recent odyssey west. Their lone victory came in the opener, an 82-81 win in Memphis, but the Pacers lost the last three of the trip. The silver lining for Indiana fans was they were in the last two, including a 102-101 loss in Denver on Monday.
With the score tied, Denver’s Andre Iguodala stole the ball off All-Star Paul George and called timeout. After the stoppage, Andre Miller lobbed one to Iguodala, who got fouled with 0.5 seconds on the clock. Iguodala made the first, missed the second on purpose and the Pacers were defeated.
“You just don’t expect the whistle to be blown in that situation,” said Pacers forward David West. “They (Nuggets) basically only have one option and that was the option. You don’t expect it but stranger things have happened.”
The Pacers, who trailed by eight at the start of the final frame, were led by George and his 23 points and 10 rebounds. Lance Stephenson added 20 and West had 17.
Indiana returns home where it owns an 11-game win streak. The Pacers haven’t lost in Bankers Life Fieldhouse since the Nuggets visited on Dec. 7.
The Pistons come to town with 10 wins in their last 17 games, but were crushed at home by the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday night, 117-90. Detroit held a 15-point lead in the first quarter against Milwaukee, then the Bucks won the second quarter, 33-14, and the third, 39-26.
All tallied, the Bucks outscored the Pistons 72-28 from late in the first quarter through the third.
The Pistons committed 21 turnovers, which led to 29 Bucks’ points.
“At the end of the day, we have to put more into the game,” acknowledged head coach Lawrence Frank. “This is a team that we’ve beaten twice; you knew that they were going to come back with an edge.”
Rookie Andre Drummond topped all Pistons scorers with 18 points and the emerging star also grabbed 18 rebounds. Four other Detroit players scored in double figures, but no one exceeded 14 points.
The Pistons have lost three of their last four and are 1-2 in their past three on the road. For the season, Detroit is only 5-16 away from The Palace of Auburn Hills.
The Pacers won this season’s only matchup, an 88-77 victory in Detroit. The Pistons have lost eight in a row in Indiana and haven’t won there since Jan. 28, 2008.