Jalen Smith led a balanced attack with 20 points and nine rebounds as the Indiana Pacers handed the host Detroit Pistons their 11th consecutive loss, 121-115 on Saturday night.
Isaiah Jackson had 19 points and 11 rebounds while Andrew Nembhard contributed 19 points and eight assists. Buddy Hield had 17 points and eight rebounds, while Jordan Nwora and Oshae Brissett tossed in 11 points apiece.
Isaiah Livers topped the Pistons with 18 points and Killian Hayes had 17 points and 13 assists. James Wiseman and Jalen Duren added 16 points apiece and combined for 20 rebounds.
The Pacers played without All-Star and leading scorer Tyrese Haliburton due to a bruised left knee. Center Myles Turner (sore lower back) also missed the game.
Detroit was playing without a number of regulars, including leading scorer Bojan Bogdanovic (Achilles soreness) and Jaden Ivey (health and safety protocol).
Indiana led 69-57 at halftime with rebounding being a key reason. The Pacers had a 30-17 edge in that category and scored 15 second-chance points. Nembhard had 14 points before the break and Jackson posted 12.
Duren led the Pistons with 14 points.
The Pacers took their biggest lead of the half at 69-53 when Chris Duarte drained a 3-pointer off a Nembhard feed. Indiana didn’t score in the last 2:30 but the Pistons only whittled four points off the deficit.
Detroit erased Indiana’s lead in the first four minutes of the third quarter, thanks to a 3-point barrage. Livers and Rodney McGruder each made two 3-pointers during that stretch as the Pistons tied it at 77 apiece.
The Pistons took the lead at 88-87 on a Eugene Omoruyi layup off a long pass from Hayes. The game was tied at 90 apiece entering the fourth.
Neither team led by more than four points in the quarter until Smith made a 3-pointer from the top of the key, giving Indiana a 108-101 lead. Brissett converted a layup with 5:34 left after a Hayes turnover to make it 114-103.
The Pistons couldn’t come closer than the final margin.
–Field Level Media