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Pistons vs. Pacers final score: Paul George, Indiana run away from Detroit in fourth

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Tale of two halves as the Pacers get the better of the Pistons in grinding, defensive contest.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Indiana forward Paul George overcame a terrible start to finish with 32 points and 14 rebounds, George Hill added a super-efficient 18 points on 10 shooting possessions, and the Indiana Pacers (19-14) got revenge on the Detroit Pistons (18-16) on Saturday night with a 94-82 win at home.

This marks Detroit's fourth loss in their past five games. They carried a one-point lead into halftime, but were outscored 53-40 in the second half.

The 82 points is the lowest total posted by the Pistons this season.

Early on, the Pistons completely bottled up George, as they had managed to in the teams' two previous meetings this season. He was 1-of-7 from the field with just five points and seven turnovers at halftime. But he completely caught fire in the second half, including going 7-for-7 in the fourth quarter and scoring 13 consecutive Pacers points.

Detroit's shooting woes continued in this contest, as only one player (Aron Baynes) shot over 50 percent from the field. They also only made 15 percent of their three-pointers and 57 percent of their free throws.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was probably the highlight for the Pistons if you had to pick one, putting up 16 points and 10 rebounds. Andre Drummond also had a double-double with 11 points and 18 boards, but his 1-of-8 showing from the free-throw line damaged the Pistons.

All-Star hopeful Reggie Jackson had one of his worst games this season after torching the Pacers in the teams' last meeting, going 5-of-19 from the field in 29 minutes, finishing with 12 points.

The Pistons have another crucial Eastern Conference matchup Monday against the Orlando Magic, who were blown out by the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Pre-Game:

  • Hot takes are the enemy, and there's still so much season to go, but it really feels like the Pistons need this win. Just hanging out on the cusp of the playoffs, and this Orlando/Boston/Brooklyn stretch is so much easier than what's coming up with games against the Spurs and Warriors (and on the road in Memphis).
  • Kelser says the Pistons need a more consistent bench. That's why they pay him the big bucks!
  • Morris really locked down Paul George last time...that's obviously a big key tonight too. George only shooting 34% in the Pacers' last 10 games, and they're 5-5 in those games. Also only 27% from the floor in two games against Detroit this year. Not sure where they're going to find consistent offense against the Piston defense if he can't score.
First Quarter:
  • Might just be my new headphones, but seems like a louder crowd than normal in Indiana.
  • I just don't think Monta Ellis is all that good anymore. Bad misses on both his first shots- athleticism clearly has declined and shooting was never a strength. They'd be better off starting CJ Miles, especially with the already substantial spacing issues starting Lavoy Allen and Ian Mahinmi.
  • Indiana's making it pretty easy on Drummond defensively. He doesn't really have to leave the paint under any circumstance.
  • I never have much to say about the Pistons' offense. It's simple, and works fine most of the time. It should be pretty easy to shut down in a seven-game series, but that's the least of our worries at this point.
  • Pretty pathetic offensive start by both teams. Reggie can't get into the paint, was getting there at will in the last Pacers game.
  • Brandon Jennings sighting with 4:44 left to go. Maybe can get something going.
  • And there's a three by Miles. 12-2 run by the Pacers. Miles is a perfect example of a good role players on bad teams being underrated by the NBA...Pacers got him on a pretty nice deal because of that.
  • I'm still not sure what I think of Marcus Morris. He's helped the team a great deal, but he can really single-handedly drag the offense down. Doesn't pass.
  • Nice steal by Jennings to get the Pistons back within two.
  • Not sure if that was a foul or not on the three-pointer. Jennings got pushed into George, but also lacked the awareness of what was around him running with his head down.
  • Drummond's the best garbage man in the business. So much fun as a fan to know that practically any 50/50 ball up at the rim is going to be two points for the Pistons.
Second Quarter:
  • Stanley Johnson doesn't give you much offensively at this point in his career. He will improve, but I would love to see him get some time at the four where his quickness and passing would be above-average for the position.
  • Myles Turner into the game. I like this kid a lot.
  • Baynes is one of those players who I think draws fouls partly because his movements are so herky-jerky and awkward. Looks like he's getting fouled even on clean plays.
  • Both teams are taking a lot of contested long twos. That's largely because of good defense, but not exactly what their new philosophies going into the year preached.
  • Unless I'm mistaken this is quite a long rest for Jackson. He probably deserves it, although I'd like to see him share the backcourt with Jennings in a game like this where both teams are struggling for offense.
  • Nice inbound by Stanley there, Pistons back in the lead.
  • That's a 33-30 lead by the Pistons...they're yet to make a three so this is a good sign. Out-rebounding the opposition 22-13.
  • Can someone explain why the Pacers declined Solomon Hill's fourth-year option? He's not amazing or anything, but he's a decent, improving young player and it's not like you're getting anything better with barely $1.5 million in cap space. That's a head-scratcher for me.
  • 8-0 run by the Pacers and SVG takes a timeout. George Hill with the easiest reverse layup you'll see. Tolliver doesn't provide any rim protection.
  • KCP knocks in Detroit's first three. That makes them 1-of-10 I believe. If those start falling they could pull away real quick.
  • Another reason why I don't like Drummond posting up is it takes away the threat of him on the offensive glass.
  • Jennings with a nice job of pushing down the floor and Morris gets the layup. Seen a lot of Jennings playing with the starters, which is interesting.
  • Some real studly shooting this half - George 1-for-6 and Ellis 2-for-7 for Indiana, Jackson 1-for-7 and Morris 2-for-8 for Detroit.
Third Quarter:
  • Bringing the starters out to start the third. Looks like SVG wants to pull away as quickly as possible.
  • Chants of "can't shoot free throws" as Drummond is at the line.
  • Ilyasova takes another charge. Wow. Shut down an easy transition opportunity for Indiana. Still practically no scoring this quarter.
  • Jackson knocks down a 29-footer on one sequence, pushes down to get Ilyasova an easy layup the next.
  • Doesn't look like Pacers are putting George in a good position to be successful. Not enough spacing, forcing him to try and create something out of nothing over and over again. Still not totally convinced he's that type of player. Pistons should probably be up by more than one.
  • Not exactly sure what's causing the Pistons' offense to be so stagnant, but there's Morris forcing an isolation with 15 seconds of shot clock left. Hill hits a three and all of a sudden we're down by six. George Hill is 6-of-7 now.
  • As Ben Gulker would say, there's some ball movement and player movement, and it leads to an easy bucket for Drummond.
  • ....and the wheels are coming off now. Nobody under the basket and George gets the slam. Pistons still have nowhere to go for an easy bucket. Might just have to view this one as a fluky game where the shots wouldn't fall and nothing went right.
  • Still a pretty miserable outing for Indiana's star. 2-of-10, seven turnovers. Not much comfort in that when you're still trailing.
  • Well, here we are, 7-2 run means the Pistons are in this. 64-59 going into the fourth quarter.
Fourth Quarter:
  • Gotta admit, the KCP + bench lineup feels a lot better with Jennings involved. Steve Blake hasn't played at all. Wonder if he'll largely be out of the rotation for good.
  • As much as he may have helped us at points this year, I cannot pretend to miss Rodney Stuckey.
  • Trying to fight back with the Baynes/Johnson combo, and why not? Not much of the game has made sense anyway. They're at least playing with a little fire.
  • Pistons in desperation mode down 69-64 and Jennings manages to get to the line. That's huge- a big problem of the bench was nobody could draw fouls with any regularity.
  • I'm young and stupid, but I kinda wonder how anyone watched basketball when this was a normal final score to a game. Pistons fans are probably the wrong group to ask. That 2004 team was so much fun, but man it just seems brutal in retrospect.
  • There's a big bucket by Solomon Hill, and now the Pacers have it again.
  • Kelser just said there's little difference between Jordan Hill and Karl-Anthony Towns. Hmm.
  • This is just one of those ugly ones that is fine to win and totally demoralizing to lose.
  • Indiana really pushing the limit of how many Hills can be on a single team.
  • It would make such a huge difference if KCP could hit a couple of his threes.
  • Jackson has not been good today. We've talked on the podcast about how his play is so critical to everything we want to do offensively.
  • George still not having a good game, but up to 18 points and 12 boards, and seven turnovers, the same number I wrote last time.
  • KCP got two easy jumpers off ball screens. He's playing such heavy minutes he has to take some possessions off, but I love the idea of him being able to cause more havoc by running all over the court like JJ Redick or Rip Hamilton.
  • Jackson rolled his ankle pretty badly there. Hopefully it's nothing serious. Misses the free throw and Pistons are down by six still.
  • George hits the three as soon as he gets down the floor, and that might do it. Nine-point lead with 2:11 to go.
  • Why is Jackson still out there when he's clearly in pain?
  • Van Gundy realllllly not happy with that push-off by George, and he gets ejected. Nice little highlight for an otherwise disastrous fourth for the Pistons.
  • Some testiness between Morris and George as the final buzzer sounds. I would like this more after a win.