It wasn't 20, like the preseason opener, but Paul George put up 13 first-quarter points to lift the Pacers to an early 27-24 lead. A respectable start from the new-look starting crew that included rookie Stanley Johnson and the bench kept the game within striking distance through the first half.
Trailing by four at the break, it was the starters who took advantage of a George-less third quarter to come back and flip the four-point lead in Detroit's favor. A 10-0 run and an Andre Drummond three-point play in the middle of the frame helped accomplish that.
Unfortunately, turnovers and defense seem to remain an issue. The Pistons turned the ball over 20 times and the Pacers shot 47 percent from the field. It was frustrating to watch (the box score). You know, it didn't help that the Pistons shot only 39 percent. They actually had five extra field goal attempts than the Pacers.
Drummond finished with a monster line with 17 points and 21 rebounds in just 29 minutes, but he took 20 shots (mostly missed tip ins per hot pocket tweets). Ersan Ilyasova had probably his best game as a Piston with 17 off the bench, hitting 4-of-7 threes. Reggie Jackson shot well (7-11), but turned the ball over five times. Spencer Dinwiddie's numbers make him look expendable.
Stanimal had a rough game, missing all three of his three-point tries, but the Pistons relied on him late to bring the team back into the game and Johnson did not disappoint there, scoring a couple of baskets to pull the Pistons within two. Even on a seemingly "off" night, he finished with 16 points and six rebounds.
Now your thoughts.