The Detroit Pistons halted a season-worst seven-game losing streak and now look to defeat a nemesis when they visit the Indiana Pacers on Friday. Detroit has dropped nine of its last 10 overall meetings with the Pacers, including five straight in Indianapolis.
The Pistons recorded their first victory in eight contests this month when they posted a 105-91 triumph in Atlanta on Thursday. “I think it’s really important for us,” Detroit guard Avery Bradley told reporters after the victory. “It’s a step closer to what we’re trying to achieve, and that’s getting consistent wins and playing the right way. I’m happy with the way we played. We just have to keep it up.” Indiana is 4-1 on its six-game homestand, with the loss occurring on Wednesday as Oklahoma City came to town and left with a 100-95 victory. There was plenty of hoopla surrounding the contest with former Pacers star Paul George returning to town, and it remains to be seen how Indiana will bounce back.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, FSN Detroit Plus, FSN Indiana
ABOUT THE PISTONS (15-13): Detroit’s slide sabotaged its strong 14-6 start, but the victory over the Hawks was good for the team’s confidence level, as well as its victory total. “When you’re coming off of seven losses, it’s tough,” guard Langston Galloway told reporters. “You’re trying to find your rhythm, find anything you can salvage. When we finally got our rhythm and made stops, we just continued to make that a bulldozer effect.” Center Andre Drummond, who is averaging 15.5 rebounds over his last eight games, contributed 12 points, 19 boards and a career-best eight assists against Atlanta.
ABOUT THE PACERS (16-12): Shooting guard Victor Oladipo, who was acquired in the deal for George, struggled against his former squad as he hit just 9-of-26 shots while scoring 19 points. The shaky effort followed a five-game stretch during which the emerging star recorded totals of 47, 36 and 33 points. Oladipo, who is averaging a career-best 24.3 points, scored 21 in each of this season’s two previous meetings with the Pistons but was just 14-for-40 from the field.
1. The teams split the two previous meetings this season, with the home team winning on each occasion.
2. Indiana C Myles Turner scored nine points on 3-of-11 shooting against Oklahoma City after reaching double figures in each of his previous eight games.
3. Detroit F Anthony Tolliver (broken nose) played with a mask on Thursday and scored six points in 15 minutes off the bench.
PREDICTION: Pacers 107, Pistons 103