– Behind Josh Smith’s second consecutive 30+ point 7+ rebound outing, the Detroit Pistons stunned the Pacers in Indy to give them their first home loss of the season.
In what many expected to be a “throw away” game of sorts for Detroit, coming off a disappointing loss to say the least against the Western Conference leading Portland Trailblazers at home on Sunday evening after giving away a double-digit fourth quarter lead. But, the Pistons shocked everyone across the league with a huge statement victory over the NBA’s best team and Central Division rival, the Indiana Pacers.
Detroit came out of the gates strong, to everybody in the arena’s surprise. They started the game off going to their highest paid attribute Josh Smith on the block, and just like in Sunday night’s loss to the Blazers at home, Smith succeeded. Josh opened the game taking his defender Paul George to school with a variety of post moves to every Piston fan’s delight, scoring 11 points in the opening quarter. After one at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indiana the Pistons, yes the Pistons, had the lead 31-28 after three Brandon Jennings (18 points 8 assists) free throws to finish the quarter.
Detroit would then add onto their first quarter lead throughout the second period, despite the foul trouble their starting Center Andre Drummond was in. Drummond only played 3 total minutes in the first half, and would finish a rebound and point shy of another double-double (9 points 9 rebounds).
The Pacers would claw themselves back into the game and draw even with the Pistons with just under a minute to play at 49 a piece, but the Pistons would counter. Behind a tough put back lay in by “Big Jorts” Josh Harrellson, who had a huge first half for Detroit in Andre Drummond’s absence (7 points 10 rebounds [5 offensive]). After taking a 53-49 lead, Jonas Jerebko would come right off the bench to drill a corner three at the halftime buzzer to give the road warriors a 56-49 advantage at the break.
After the break, Detroit would go right back to their small forward on the block, Josh Smith. Smith would score the first 8 points off the half for Detroit, countering the Pacer run out of the halftime break. Not only did Josh Smith hold down the fort on the offensive side of the ball, but on the defensive end as well. With the help of rookie guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Josh Smith shut down up and coming superstar Paul George holding him to just 4/14 shooting good for just 17 hard to come by points. Detroit would take a 79-73 lead to the final quarter in Indiana.
But these aren’t the same Pistons who gave up a double-digit fourth quarter lead a night before at the Palace. The Pistons would build an 11 point lead with just six minutes remaining in the contest, and this lead they would not squander. Behind a heroic effort from Josh Smith, the Pistons would knock off the Eastern Conference leading Pacers in their house to give them their first home loss of the 2013-2014 season.
Detroit (12-14) tied for fourth in the Eastern Conference, now head to Boston to play the team they are tied with for that fourth seed, the Celtics. Should be a fun game as two fringe playoff teams face off at the TD Garden in Boston.
Tags: Andre Drummond Brandon Jennings Charlie Villanueva Detroit Pistons Greg Monroe Indiana Pacers Jonas Jerebko Josh Smith Kentavious Caldwell-Pope Kyle Singler NBA News Paul George Rodney Stuckey Will Bynum