The Indiana Pacers found themselves staring at a 25-point deficit in the second quarter of Saturday night’s game. In the second half, the defense took over to get the short handed Pacers into overtime against the Pistons.
Detroit scored just four points in OT and the Pacers left Auburn Hills with a 112-104 win.
The first half wasn’t pretty. Indiana gave up 60 points and were down 19 by the break. It was ugly enough that coach Frank Vogel dropped the nice guy routine and laid into his team at halftime. The players said that he challenged them to do better, and it inspired the team.
Vogel took the “control your destiny” angle and the team responded with an inspired effort.
In the second half, an outburst from the bench sparked a rally that started on the defensive end of the court. Detroit scored just 17 points in the third quarter and the Pacers made it a six point game. The defense once again looked like something from November.
The Pacers closed the game and held onto the ball for the final shot. Paul George‘s jumper was short, but they still forced overtime.
George recorded another 30 point game to lead the team. He also had eight rebounds, seven assists, and three steals.
Roy Hibbert broke out of his slump somewhat to record 12 points and five rebounds, but he was once again overshadowed by Andrew Bynum. Bynum gave the team extended minutes off the bench and gave the Pacers 15 points and nine rebounds. (Editor’s Note: in no way shape or form am I suggesting that Bynum start or get more minutes than Hibbert, that would be ridiculous.)
Evan Turner also gave the Pacers a big spark off the bench with 20 points. The combo of Bynum and Turner managed to keep the Pacers in the game in the second quarter.
David West came up big in overtime with six of the team’s 12 points. He finished with 15 points and eight rebounds.
Lance Stephenson struggled with his shot early, but hit a number of big ones in the second half. He had 13 points, nine rebounds, and six assists.
There was a scary moment early in the game when Pistons center Andre Drummond ran head first into Roy Hibbert as the two were going for a loose ball. Drummond appeared to fall into Hibbert’s back, compressing his neck. Play was stopped for awhile, but he was helped off the court by a pair of trainers. Further testing revealed no structural damage and he is now listed as day-to-day.
The Pacers will head back home to face the Philadelphia 76ers Monday night.
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