By TYLER SMITH (@TylerSmith_ISL)
INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Pacers have enjoyed playing the Detroit Pistons this season. For just the third time in franchise history, the Pacers completed the season-sweep over Detroit after winning 115-98 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Wednesday night.
Returning home from a five-game road trip, the Pacers used a huge 3rd-quarter run to put the Pistons away. Detroit took a brief 63-62 lead, but the Pacers ended the 3rd quarter on a 28-10 run. That run came at the perfect time considering Indiana’s numbers after three quarters. They improved to 28-4 on the season when leading after three.
Thaddeus Young is still battling a sore wrist, but looked a little more like himself. He scored 18 points and grabbed eight rebounds.
“He just played his game,” said Coach Nate McMillan. “His wrist is still bothering him. What I’ve been told is that injury won’t heal until after the season. Tonight he showed just how valuable he is even with the sore wrist.”
After two straight 30-point games, Paul George only attempted 12 shots against Detroit, but still scored 21. And when the Pacers needed him most, he showed up in a big way. He scored 13 of his 21 points late in that 3rd-quarter run.
“He’s a team player,” McMillan said. “He wants to get guys involved. He passed up some shots to look for his teammates. We needed him to knock down some shots in the third quarter and he did that.”
— Indiana Pacers (@Pacers) March 9, 2017
Because of the big run, the Pacers starters were able to rest in the final quarter. Any rest this time of year is valuable.
The Pacers only committed five turnovers, a season low, and dished out 27 assists as a team.
The Pacers improved to 30-19 on the season when they have at least one day of rest in between games. Percentage wise, that’s a 50-win caliber team. Since the All-Star Break, the Pacers have wins over Memphis, Houston, Atlanta, and Detroit, and lost a close game when they “traveled” to San Antonio. The offense is clicking, and the Pacers look like a potential tough match-up for other teams in the playoffs.
NEXT UP: Indiana will travel to Milwaukee on Friday, and will host Miami on Sunday. Both teams are 2 1/2 games behind the Pacers and a half game out of the playoffs.