Pacers keep the throttle down as they drive past the Pistons


The Indiana Pacers picked up another critical win — over the Detroit Pistons — to keep their hopes of grabbing home-court advantage alive.

The Indiana Pacers grabbed the first leg of this week’s series with the Detroit Pistons with a 111-102 victory on Monday. They don’t have to win in aggregate, but they do have to face the Pistons again on Wednesday, and this time, in Detroit.

More important than simply a win over their Central Division rival, the Pacers keep themselves in the running for home-court advantage against the Boston Celtics in the first round. Right now they are losing the tiebreaker to the Celtics, but by simply getting one regular season game ahead, they very well may change their playoff fate.

But back to Monday. The Pacers found themselves down early before a series of Myles Turner blocks helped turn the tide in their favor. Despite not having regular starters Darren Collison and Wesley Matthews, the offense found its footing int he second quarter.

100. Final. 102. 64. 111

While Bojan Bogdanovic’s 19 points were tied for the team-high, many of Indiana’s best contributors came on somewhat unexpectedly on Monday.

Thaddeus Young was the player tied with Bogdanovic, and Thad nearly had a double-double with his 9 rebounds, but his 5 assists point to a very well-rounded game. Young is critical to the team’s success, but not always as a scorer.

Another modest surprise was Tyreke Evans’ 4 3-pointers, which we’ll touch on a bit later. But the bigger unexpected contributions were 11 points for Doug McDermott that showed off he’s more than a 3-point shooter or back door cutter. The other one was 10 points off the bench from Aaron Holiday, who has had ups and downs this season with inconsistent minutes.

With injuries and playoff positioning on the line, Indiana will welcome more nights like this where the bench and deeper rotation players make an impact.

Pacers get a 3-point barrage from Tyreke Evans

We’ve been as hard as anyone rationally can by on Tyreke Evans, but he found ways as of late to leave a positive impact. While he couldn’t get as much going on pick and rolls as he’d like, Evans hit 4 3-pointers on Monday night.

On top of that, he had 3 assists, an assist and a block to round out a night where he found ways to help the Pacers.

While things haven’t gone as hoped for Tyreke, he’s averaging 10.9 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 3 assists over the last nine games. His shooting could still use help, but he’s contributing above his season averages as of late.

Myles Turner’s block party

Five of them, and they were having a tangible effect on the game as the Pistons’ shots get arcing their shots more severely as the game wore on.

The Pacers do a great job of often grabbing those blocked shots, but even when they don’t Turner forces offenses to account for them as they get closer and closer to the rim.
And when Turner still has time to score 17 points, then the Pacers are going to have a good time.

Tiebreaker update

The Celtics held on against the Miami Heat, but Indiana just needs them to slip-up once for the Pacers to spring ahead — if Indiana themselves can win out. Let’s not talk about tanking yet, though.

Get one ahead of Boston, that’s all the Pacers need.

A. In addition to letting Thon Maker hurtle him, Bojan dropped 19 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists for the Pacers.<br />. SF. Indiana Pacers. BOJAN BOGDANOVIC

THADDEUS YOUNG. A. Thad didn’t need to create in the chaos as much on Monday, but nonetheless he found his way to 19 points and 9 rebounds. He’s often the glue guy, but he laid a foundation in the win.<br />. PF. Indiana Pacers

MYLES TURNER. A. 17 points, 6 rebounds, 5 blocks, and 3 steals… but no double-double.<br />. C. Indiana Pacers

C. Indiana Pacers. DOMANTAS SABONIS. A. Outside of fouling out, hard to find much fault in an 18 point, 12 rebound, and 3 assist performance. Domas played a big part in the bench’s success.<br />

C-. Lost confidence, please return to owner. Goes by 2 of 9 shooting, though 3 steals, and 2 assists take away some of the pain. Solid defense as always.<br />. PG. Indiana Pacers. CORY JOSEPH

B.. Made it rain from deep on his way to 13 points.<br />. SG. Indiana Pacers. TYREKE EVANS

A. Outside of his 3-pointer, all of McBuckets 11 points came in the paint<br />. SF. Indiana Pacers. DOUG MCDERMOTT

B. The B is for the one block he got. Played alright defense, too.<br />. PF. Indiana Pacers. TJ LEAF

A. 10 points and 5 assists while pushing the tempo for the Pacers while he was in the game.<br />. PG. Indiana Pacers. AARON HOLIDAY

Next. Myles Turner's rebounding is up — slightly. dark

The Pacers face the Pistons again on Wednesday at 7 p.m. to Detroit.