Pacers visit Pistons in pursuit of third straight win

Myles Turner (center) is coming off a 23-point, 12-rebound night in a win over the Magic.
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The Indiana Pacers are feeling better about themselves after winning their last two games to halt a four-game slide. They will try to continue their surge when they visit the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday night.

The Pacers are coming off a 117-104 victory over Orlando on Sunday. Second-year center Myles Turner racked up 23 points and 12 rebounds in that game.

Indiana was up double digits most of the way, allowing coach Nate McMillan to hold his starters’ playing time to 32 minutes or less.

Glenn Robinson III continues to start at shooting guard, even though Monta Ellis is back in action after missing eight games with a groin injury. McMillan told the Indianapolis Star that Robinson has earned the right to stay in the lineup.

“We’re going to stick with it right now,” McMillan said. “Glenn has done a real nice job. He seems to continue to improve defensively. … Rebounding is something that we certainly need and he has gone in and really made an effort to help us on the boards. I like what I’m seeing from Glenn.”

The team’s franchise player, forward Paul George, sees signs that the team is developing chemistry.

“I think now we’re finally using all of our weapons,” he told the Star. “Everybody is comfortable in their role right now. It’s fun. I know I personally lost that. This team lost that. Right now, it’s fun again.”

Indiana will be making its second trip to Michigan in less than three weeks. George scored 26 points in a 105-90 Pacers victory on Dec. 17.

The Pistons, meanwhile, hope to get the kind of production Andre Drummond and Reggie Jackson provided in a 107-98 road victory over the depleted Miami Heat on Sunday. The Pistons had lost seven of their last eight games before that win.

Drummond, an All-Star center last year, had 25 points, 18 rebounds, two steals and two blocks against the Heat. Jackson, the starting point guard, scored a season-high 27 points and added four assists.

Drummond had not reached the 20-point mark in the previous 10 games. He took advantage of the absence of Heat center Hassan Whiteside, who was among five rotation players who sat out the game with injuries.

“It’s just, again, for all of our guys, but for him too, trying to see if he can find that every night,” coach Stan Van Gundy said. “When he does, he’s a hard guy to deal with. Obviously, they didn’t have Whiteside and that made a big difference, but that is what he should do in a game like that and he did it. That’s what is important.”

Jackson missed the first 21 games with a knee injury and is gradually returning to form. The Pistons haven’t won back-to-back games since he returned to action.

Jackson and the Pistons’ defense got off to a slow start at Miami, trailing 66-58 at halftime. Jackson sparked the offense after the break while the defense limited the Heat to 32 second-half points.

“Early we went out, thought it was going to be a little bit easy. And the times we did try to ramp it up, we still weren’t communicating with each other,” Jackson said. “We got lost on the defensive side. Second half, during halftime we talked about communicating and cranking up our level of intensity, and I think that’s something we did in the second half.”

Drummond’s usual backup may not be available Tuesday. Aron Baynes suffered a sprained ankle against the Heat.