NBA Basketball

102
Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
Detroit 33 22 25 22 102
Indiana 23 36 28 24 111
111
4:00 PM PT5:00 PM MT6:00 PM CT7:00 PM ET23:00 GMT7:00 4:00 PM MST6:00 PM EST3:00 UAE (+1)01:0019:00 ET6:00 PM CT22:00 , April 1, 2019
Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana  Attendance: 15,760

Pacers focused on building postseason momentum vs. Pistons

According to STATS
According to STATS

Detroit Pistons at Indiana Pacers

  1. These teams split their first two meetings this season, each winning at home. The Pacers, who shot 60.9 percent from the field in their 125-88 win over Detroit on December 28, are 7-1 in their last eight home games versus the Pistons.
  2. Indiana has lost seven of its last eight games overall. Six of the seven losses have come by single digits, including Saturday's 121-116 home setback versus the Magic.
  3. Detroit has an 11-game home win streak that started on February 4, but is 6-8 on the road over that span, with losses in six of its last seven road contests. The Pistons' last road win over a team that currently has a winning record came on January 12 at the Clippers.
  4. Andre Drummond is averaging an NBA-high 15.5 rebounds per game, after leading the league with 16.0 per game last season. No player has averaged 15.0+ rebounds in consecutive seasons since Dennis Rodman in 1996-97 and '97-98 with the Bulls (minimum 50 G).
  5. A game after tying season highs with 25 points and seven three-pointers on Thursday against Orlando, Wayne Ellington went 0-for-7 from beyond the arc in Saturday's win over Portland, scoring seven points.
  6. Over his last four games, Bojan Bogdanovic is averaging 28.0 points while shooting 62.1 percent from the field (41/66) and 62.1 percent from three-point range (18/29). It's his most points scored in any four-game span of his career (112).

The Indiana Pacers are thrilled to see March in their rearview mirror.

The playoff-bound Pacers finished the month 4-10, including a 1-7 mark over the last eight games. They'll try to get back on track in their April opener against visiting Detroit on Monday, the first of back-to-back games between the Central Division rivals.

Following a two-point loss at Boston on Friday, the Pacers dropped a 121-116 decision to Orlando at home on Saturday. Indiana allowed 65 second-half points to the Magic.

"That's inexcusable on our part," point guard Darren Collison told the team's website. "Wide open layups, that's tough. We have to cut down our breakdowns and have that grittiness. We've got to take this one on the chin. This ain't nobody's fault but ours. There's no other way to put it. We just didn't get the job done defensively. It hurts losing this way."

Indiana lost four straight games after leading scorer Victor Oladipo suffered a ruptured quadriceps tendon in his right knee in late January. The Pacers got over the initial shock of losing him by posting a 9-3 record in February but they're increasingly feeling his absence, particularly during crunch time.

"Of course, that could be part of it," coach Nate McMillan said of the team's slump. "But we're without him. He's not coming back this season."

Indiana's focus for the remainder of the regular season is to build some momentum heading toward the postseason.

"You have to be mentally tough to withstand these obstacles. If you can't, you don't belong in the NBA," Collison said. "The good thing is, it's happening right now before the playoffs. If it gets us a little tougher mentally and if we cut down some of the mistakes we're making in the fourth quarter of these games, we'll be fine. We've got to be tougher."

Detroit's best player could also miss Monday's game. All-Star power forward Blake Griffin was a late scratch on Saturday due to a sore left knee and is listed as day-to-day. It was the first time all season Griffin missed a game due to injury. He sat out three other games when coach Dwane Casey felt he needed a rest.

Detroit scored a season-low 31 points in the first half against Portland, then rallied for a 99-90 victory.

"Not having Blake, definitely he was missed, especially early on in the first half," center Andre Drummond said. "We couldn't get it going. We needed him to will us offensively, to get us all going, but we found a way in that second half and made it work."

The Pistons lost three previous games this season without Griffin.

"It was kind of an emotional jolt to us a little bit because he was there warming up and everything. All at once, boom, he's not there," Casey said. "We'll be better from that. We'll be better the next time out. It kind of surprised all of us. We knew his knee was a little sore, we still thought he was going to go. And he tried."

Detroit is fighting for its second playoff berth since 2009. The Pistons maintained their tenuous grasp on sixth place in the Eastern Conference with the victory, but the three teams just behind them -- Brooklyn, Miami and Orlando -- also won on Saturday.

The season series between Indiana and Detroit is knotted at 1-1.

--Field Level Media

Updated March 31, 2019

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