In their first game after being mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, the Detroit Pistons had a chance to play spoiler against the Indiana Pacers. The Pacers played spoiler to that, taking out Detroit 107-103 and keeping Indiana within a game from the final two seeds in the East.
The Pacers did it behind strong play from a familiar face in The Palace -- Rodney Stuckey. Stuck had 24 points on 10-for-17 shooting, eight of those coming in the fourth.
"He's an up-and-down guy - he always has been," Stan Van Gundy said after the game. "He hasn't done much of anything against us in our first three games this year, but today, he killed us."**
After Reggie Jackson hit an and-one to put the Pistons up 96-95 in the fourth quarter with 3:39 remaining, Stuckey scored six straight to suck all the wind out of the Pistons' sails. The Pistons fought back, as they've always done well this year, to pull within two with 15 seconds left, but George Hill iced it with two free throws.
Jackson led the Pistons with 21 points and nine assists before fouling out. He got to the line 12 times. Andre Drummond had 11 points and 15 rebounds. Greg Monroe had 17 and 12.
- The Pistons were 12-23 from the free throw line. Unacceptable for the 'shooting' guard to be 1-4. In fairness, KCP had an overall good game again at home. In contrast, the Pacers hit 20-22.
- The Pistons shot well from three, but the Pacers again shot better. The Pistons were 48 percent and the Pacers hit 58 percent.
- Chauncey Billups joined George Blaha and Greg Kelser for much of the second quarter. He loves everybody, especially KCP, and said the 2014-2015 Atlanta Hawks remind him of the 2004 champs. He also talked about how Joe Dumars put Stuckey in a position to fail by trading No. 1.
- **Well, that's a backhanded compliment if I've ever seen one. Reality is that Stuckey has been very good for the Pacers this year, up more than down, keeping them afloat at times while Paul George was injured.
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