NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Monday, December 16th
(All times Eastern)
Detroit Pistons (11-14) at Indiana Pacers (20-3), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Indiana Pacers had the weekend off to refresh and
will close out a three-game homestand Monday versus the Central Division-rival
Detroit Pistons at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
The Pacers have defeated Miami and Charlotte on this homestand and recorded a
99-94 victory over the Bobcats Friday night. Paul George, the sixth-leading
scorer in the NBA with 24.1 points per game, was held to a season-low 10
points on just 2-of-12 shooting and Lance Stephenson scored a team-best 20
points to go along with 11 rebounds and seven assists.
Roy Hibbert had 18 points, 11 boards and three blocks, while David West added
14 points and eight rebounds for the Pacers, who are 11-0 at home and have won
11 of their last 13 games.
"That's a really good win against a really good team we have a lot of respect
for," said Pacers coach Frank Vogel.
Indiana is the only team in the NBA that has not played a game decided by less
than five points this season. The team is currently first in the NBA in
defensive field goal percentage, holding opponents to 41.1 percent shooting
and allowing just 89.5 ppg, also best in the league.
The Pacers have another showdown with the Heat in south Florida on Wednesday
and won the first matchup, 90-84, last week.
Detroit will play two straight and eight of the next 12 games on the road and
has a 5-6 record away from The Palace, where it sustained a 111-109 overtime
loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday.
Portland scored 26 of the 41 points in the fourth quarter and had a 12-10
advantage in the extra period. Blazers point guard Damian Lillard hit the
game-winning jumper with one-tenth of a second left in overtime and scored
eight points in OT.
Josh Smith paced all scorers with 31 points for the Pistons, losers in four of
the last five games following a four-game winning streak. Greg Monroe scored
17 points, Andre Drummond netted 13 with 14 rebounds and Rodney Stuckey
tallied 17 points off the bench.
"It's very frustrating, especially when you prepare for an opponent and you
know what the player individually does the best in, and all we needed was just
one rebound to secure that game," Smith said. "We weren't able to do that so
it is very frustrating."
The Pistons will visit Boston on Wednesday, then are scheduled to play back-
to-back home games versus Charlotte and Houston.
Detroit lost the first meeting with Indiana, 99-91, on Nov. 5 at The Palace
and is winless in the last six matchups between the division foes. The Pacers
are 15-3 in the last 18 meetings with the Pistons, who are winless in 10
straight as the visitor in this series.
12/16 10:58:03 ET