NBA

Tue, Nov 5, 2013 - 7:30 PM ET
Game Preview
 

Pacers-Pistons Preview

Share This Story

   
 

The Indiana Pacers' strong start is falling in line with the team's larger goal for the season.

Looking to go 4-0 for the first time in nine years, the visiting Pacers try for a sixth consecutive victory over the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday night.

Even with star Danny Granger nursing a calf injury and guard George Hill in danger of missing a second straight game with a sore hip, Indiana won't veer from its goal of supplanting two-time defending NBA champion Miami atop the Eastern Conference.

"We're competing for a one seed (in the East)," coach Frank Vogel told the Pacers' official website. "We said from the opening day of training camp, that's what we're going after.

"It's going to be a battle but we're off to strong start. We've got to keep it going."

After allowing an NBA-low 42.0 percent shooting while playing without Granger for practically all of last season's run to the conference finals, the Pacers have held their first three opponents to 37.9. Indiana limited Cleveland to 34.9 percent from the floor and outrebounded the Cavaliers 51-37 en route to an 89-74 victory Saturday.

"I'm happy with the defense," Vogel said. "These guys, when the game's on the line, they tighten the screws."

Lance Stephenson scored 22 and Paul George added 21 and 13 rebounds to help the Pacers start 3-0 for the second time in three seasons.

"We're getting better along the way," said George, averaging career highs of 25.7 points and 48.1 percent shooting. "Every game we're improving and we're learning. We're taking care of business."

Indiana has certainly done that while posting five straight victories over the Pistons (2-1) by an average of 17.2 points. Detroit has shot 36.1 percent and averaged 77.5 points in the last four meetings.

The Pistons, however, won their first two home games and took Memphis to overtime in a 111-108 road loss Friday.

Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond posted double-doubles while Brandon Jennings scored 14 points in 30 minutes of his Detroit debut, an 87-77 win over Boston on Sunday.

After averaging 110.5 points and 48.5 percent shooting in the first two games, Detroit was held to 44.7 percent from the field Sunday. The Pistons, though, forced 24 turnovers and went on a 10-0 fourth-quarter run to take control.

Jennings, acquired in a trade that sent Brandon Knight to Milwaukee in July, missed the first two games and most of the preseason with a jaw fracture related to a wisdom tooth.

"It was good to see him out there and the effect he can have on the team," coach Maurice Cheeks said. "He brings a little electricity to a game."

Jennings had two of the 21 turnovers committed by the Pistons, who have 60 through three games.

"Our defense is usually pretty good but when we have turnovers, it's tough to get back and defend," Cheeks said. "It's something we have to keep working on."

Monroe is averaging career highs of 18.3 points and 11.3 rebounds. The Pacers, however, have limited him to 17 points and 6-of-25 shooting with 16 boards in the last two matchups.

Tagged: Pistons, Pacers, George Hill, Brandon Jennings, Paul George

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by


NBA Videos

NBA considering mid-season Vegas tournament? Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Adam Silver confirms the NBA has engaged in early conversations about the possib...

LeBron and Blatt 'will work together beautifully' Posted: Jul 14, 2014
Cavaliers head coach David Blatt on LeBron James' decision to return to Clevelan...

LeBron's back and so are the Cavs Posted: Jul 11, 2014
FOX Sports 1's Gary Payton weighs-in on LeBron's decision to return to Cleveland...

More Than Sports on MSN

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    adidas Blake Griffin Los Angeles Clippers Revolution 30 Performance Jersey - Red http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Los_Angeles_Clippers/browse/featuredproduct/491845/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_491000/ff_491845_xl.jpg&w=100 59.95 adidas Blake Griffin Los Angeles Clippers Revolution 30 Performance Jersey - Red
    adidas LeBron James Miami Heat Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey-Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Miami_Heat/browse/featuredproduct/498609/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_498000/ff_498609_xl.jpg&w=100 89.95 adidas LeBron James Miami Heat Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey-Black
    adidas Carmelo Anthony New York Knicks Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey - Royal Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_York_Knicks/browse/featuredproduct/620470/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_620000/ff_620470_xl.jpg&w=100 49.99 adidas Carmelo Anthony New York Knicks Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey..
    Mitchell & Ness San Antonio Spurs Black Solid Script Snapback Adjustable Hat http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Antonio_Spurs/browse/featuredproduct/692239/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_692000/ff_692239_xl.jpg&w=100 25.95 Mitchell & Ness San Antonio Spurs Black Solid Script Snapback Adjustable Hat
    Majestic Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers Logo Man T-Shirt - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Los_Angeles_Lakers/browse/featuredproduct/851828/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_851000/ff_851828_xl.jpg&w=100 23.95 Majestic Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers Logo Man T-Shirt - Black
    Majestic Kevin Durant Oklahoma City Thunder Logo Man T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_City_Thunder/browse/featuredproduct/851842/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_851000/ff_851842_xl.jpg&w=100 23.95 Majestic Kevin Durant Oklahoma City Thunder Logo Man T-Shirt - White
    adidas Miami Heat 2012 NBA Eastern Conference Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Miami_Heat/browse/featuredproduct/890174/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_890000/ff_890174_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 adidas Miami Heat 2012 NBA Eastern Conference Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Wh..
    adidas Oklahoma City Thunder 2012 NBA Western Conference Champions Locker Room Flex Hat - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_City_Thunder/browse/featuredproduct/890384/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_890000/ff_890384_xl.jpg&w=100 19.99 adidas Oklahoma City Thunder 2012 NBA Western Conference Champions Locker Room F..