Pacers’ Oladipo fuels comeback win over Pistons
INDIANAPOLIS — Midway through the third quarter, the Indiana Pacers were seemingly buried in a 22-point hole to Detroit.
“We didn’t give in, games like that it’s easy to give in,” Pacers guard Darren Collison said. “Everybody kept believing. I thought our bench did a great job of keeping us in the game. It was a good effort by everybody.”
Collison sank a 3-pointer to put the Pacers ahead for good in a 107-100 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Friday night.
“They battled and flipped the switch on Detroit,” Pacers coach Nate McMillan said. “Our pressure was much better defensively and offensively we handled their pressure. We learned this group has a lot of fight in them.”
Avery Bradley and Reggie Jackson were high for the Pistons (10-5) with 16 each. Ish Smith and Tobias Harris added 15 each for Detroit.
Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy said his team couldn’t score down the stretch.
“Every time we missed, they got out and hit 3s in transition,” Van Gundy said.
After going 4-of-12 from 3-point range in the first half, the Pacers hit 11 of 16 3-pointers in the second half.
Trailing 97-95, Collison’s 3-pointer ignited a 9-0 run to give the Pacers a 105-97 lead with 58 seconds to go. Collison then hit a huge driving floating bank shot to put the Pacers up 107-100.
Victor Oladipo scored 21 points and grabbed a career-high 15 rebounds to lead the Pacers (8-8). Thaddeus Young scored 18 and Collison added 16 for Indiana.
Indiana’s Lance Stephenson provided a spark off the bench with 13 points, all in the fourth quarter, and eight rebounds.
“We went with the group that was playing well,” McMillan said. “Lance came in second half with his energy, had some big rebounds defensively. He was much better in the second half. I decided to just stay with that group.”
Stephenson, who admittedly struggled in the first half, vowed to change the atmosphere if he got another chance.
“I think rebounding and defense got us going and the crowd, too,” he said.
Despite being ill prior to the game, Pacers forward Domantas Sabonis scored 12 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, including eight points and six rebounds in the fourth quarter. Sabonis played 24 minutes.
“I told him just give me 15 minutes and he just got in a good rhythm with that group,” McMillan said.
Trailing 58-47 at halftime, Indiana scored the first seven points of the third quarter to cut the lead to 58-54. From there, the Pistons went on a 20-2 tear to take a 78-56 lead with 5:48 left in the third quarter. The Pacers went on a run to trim the deficit to 10 points after three quarters. Indiana held a 36-19 edge in the fourth quarter.
Detroit shot 39 of 93 from the field while Indiana was 39 of 89.
“The last 18 minutes of the game, we only scored 24 points,” Van Gundy said. “They just had us flattened out and going one-on-one. It wasn’t good.”
The Pistons hit 22 of 53 shots (41.5 percent), including 8 of 19 3-point shots in the first half.
Luke Kennard, who finished with 13 points, came off the bench to score 10 points to lead a balanced first-half attack for Detroit.
Indiana led by as many as five points (11-6) before Detroit grabbed control of the opening half. The Pistons led 32-23 lead after the first quarter.
NOTES: Detroit C Andre Drummond, who played in his 400th game Friday night, has the third-most double-doubles for the Pistons since the 1983-84 season. Drummond scored 11 points and grabbed 15 rebounds to give him 240. Isiah Thomas is on top with 377 double-doubles and Bill Laimbeer had 336. ... Pistons F Tobias Harris hit 44 3-pointers to start the season, the most 3-pointers by a Pistons player in the first 14 games. Harris cooled off Friday, hitting just 1 of 5 3-pointers. ... The Pacers played in their Hickory uniforms for the first time this season. This is the third season the Pacers have used the uniforms symbolizing the fictional team from “Hoosiers.” ... After shooting 20 percent (3-of-15) from 3-point range in the first five games, Indiana F Bojan Bogdanovic has made 30 of 59 3-point shots in the last 11 games.