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