Pacers get first win, hand Pistons first loss this season
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) Rodney Stuckey scored 23 points against his former team, Paul George added 16 points and nine rebounds and the Indiana Pacers beat the Detroit Pistons 94-82 on Tuesday night for their first victory.
The Pistons fell to 3-1.
Andre Drummond had 25 points and a career-high 29 rebounds, becoming the first Piston with back-to-back 20/20 games since at least 1985, according to STATS. Reggie Jackson added 20 points.
The Pistons led 30-22 late in the first quarter, and no one paid much attention when George hit two free throws to pull Indiana within six at the period's end.
By the time Stan Van Gundy called timeout with 7:13 left in the half, the Pacers led 44-30, having scored 22 straight points, including the first 20 of the second quarter. The Pistons had started the second quarter with their backups, as Van Gundy usually does, and they had gotten blown off the floor.
The starters came back much earlier than usual and managed to keep Detroit within 47-39 at the half. That, though, meant the starters had played between 17-20 minutes in the half, as the five reserves combined to go 0 for 6 from the floor while turning the ball over four times and grabbing just one rebound.
At the same time, the Pacers bench had scored 20 points in the first half, meaning Indiana's starters were much fresher after halftime. It showed, as they ran off 11 points in the first three minutes of the third, expanding their lead to 70-53.
Spencer Dinwiddie scored Detroit's first bench points in the fourth quarter, cutting Indiana's lead to 87-71. The Pacers' bench had already scored 36 points, including 16 from Stuckey.
Pacers: Indiana successfully avoided its first 0-4 start since the 1988-89 team went 0-9. . Stuckey was called for a flagrant foul against Stanley Johnson in the fourth, but Johnson missed both free throws and the Pistons didn't score on the ensuing possession.
Pistons: With the game getting out of hand in the third, Van Gundy inserted third-string point guard Dinwiddie for the first time this season. On Indiana's next possession, he fouled Stuckey on a made jumper, setting up a three-point play that gave the Pacers an 18-point lead. ... Detroit starts a six-game, nine-day Western trip Friday in Phoenix.
Pacers: Visit Boston on Wednesday.
Pistons: Visit Phoenix on Friday.