INDIANAPOLIS – After a fantastic start to a season-long six-game homestand, the Indiana Pacers (16-13) ended it with a dud on Friday.
Indy’s furious fourth quarter rally came up short, as the Detroit Pistons (16-13) held on for a 104-98 win at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The Blue and Gold finish their long stretch at home with a 4-2 record.
Despite a sluggish start to the first half, the Pacers owned a 54-52 lead at halftime.
Indiana scored just 19 first quarter points and trailed 27-19 after one thanks to a 17-8 Detroit run that closed the period. The Pistons kept rolling into the second, leading by as many as 14 at one point, but Indy finally got hot as the half neared. Over the final 3:59, the Pacers outscored their opposition 19-7 to grab the lead at the break.
Each side traded runs early on in the third quarter, but it was Detroit that seized control of the ballgame as the period wore on. The Pistons ended the frame on a 13-4 run, capping a 34-20 third quarter that gave the visitors a 86-74 edge going into the fourth.
Detroit was able to push their cushion to a game-high 16 points with 9:03 to play in Friday’s final quarter, but the Pacers would not go down easily.
Nine straight points, all from the free throw line, sparked Indiana and made it a 95-88 game with 5:26 left on the clock. The Pacers and Pistons traded buckets, but a Myles Turner layup with 2:58 remaining made it a three-point contest with plenty of time to play.
Thaddeus Young later split a pair of free throws with 1:34 left and the Pacers next had a chance to take the lead with a Lance Stephenson three from the corner, but the shot would not go down. Turner wound up with that rebound, but Indiana was not able to convert coming out of a timeout.
Reggie Jackson nailed two free throws on the other end to make it 102-98 with 18.1 seconds to go and after Andre Drummond blocked a Victor Oladipo shot attempt, Detroit had this one wrapped up.
Oladipo and Turner led the charge for Indiana on Friday night. Oladipo scored a game-best 26 points, in addition to grabbing eight rebounds and getting four assists. Turner finished the game with 24 points, eight boards and two blocks.
Drummond gave the Pacers fits, scoring 23 points and pulling down 13 rebounds.
The Blue and Gold will finally hit the road again, as they prepare to face the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday. Game time from the Barclays Center is scheduled for 6:00 p.m.