Positive: Fourth-quarter barrage seals the deal
This was fun. Following the competitive third quarter I mentioned earlier, the Pacers were holding onto a one-point lead going into the fourth quarter, with Tyrese Haliburton starting the quarter on the bench.
This would not phase Indiana, who would momentarily gather themselves before demolishing the poor Pistons in the fourth quarter, outscoring them 39-17 en route to a 23-point victory, tied for their biggest win of the season.
Detroit started the fourth off competitively, with the score tied at 106 with 8:29 left in the game. That was when Indiana's takeover began, as they quickly sparked off a 16-6 run in the next 5:30 with Tyrese Haliburton on the bench.
Following Haliburton's entrance, Indiana would ramp up the onslaught, finishing the game with a 13-1 run in the final three minutes as the crowd noise in Gainsbridge Fieldhouse kept increasing, and the players looked like they were having the time of their lives.
Despite probably keeping the game closer than it needed to be during the first three quarters and leaving fans praying for an outcome different from what happened against Toronto, the Pacers came through to snatch the game away from the Pistons and finish In-Season Tournament group play undefeated.
As a result of this win, the Pacers will have homecourt advantage for an In-Season Tournament quarterfinal game and improve their odds of playing for the big prize in Las Vegas and earning the first In-Season Tournament trophy in league history. Hopes are high in Indiana now, as the Pacers have an extra two days of rest before hosting another bottomfeeding team in the Portland Trail Blazers.