After getting their first look at the newly rebuilt Detroit Pistons, the Indiana Pacers were able to come out with a 99-91 win. Paul George had another stellar game, scoring 31 points and adding 10 rebounds, four assists and four steals while shooting 12-of-18 from the floor.
George and the Pacers got out to a fast start. George had 12 points in the game’s first quarter. The Pacers ended the first quarter with a 29-14 lead, but that lead would not stand for long.
In the second quarter, the Pistons came out aggressive on both sides of the ball. Behind Kyle Singler’s seven-point scoring effort in the second quarter, the Pistons took a 41-38 lead into halftime.
The Pacers responded quickly in the third quarter, outscoring the Pistons 36-22. George led the Pacers' attack, scoring 14 points in the quarter. The Pacers looked like they were on the fast track to a 4-0 record.
In the fourth quarter, the Pistons found themselves trailing 94-75 with 3:53 remaining in the game.
In the last few minutes of the game, Detroit made a big comeback, going on a 17-2 scoring run.
With 16 seconds remaining in the game, David West hit a key layup and C.J. Watson hit a free throw to give the Pacers a 99-91 victory. The win helped the Pacers remain the lone undefeated team in the NBA with a 4-0 record.
Greg Monroe was one of the few bright spots for the Pistons, scoring 14 points, blocking two shots and bringing in 10 rebounds.
Brandon Jennings added 17 points, and Josh Smith scored 16, but those totals are moderately deceiving. Jennings shot 16-of-20 from the floor while Smith shot 5-of-16 and had a minus-28 in the plus-minus statistical category. Also, Jennings and Smith both shot 1-of-6 from the three-point line.
Along with George’s star-like performance, Roy Hibbert and Lance Stephenson were key contributors to the win. Hibbert added eight points, 10 rebounds and seven blocks, giving him 20 blocks through four games. Stephenson scored 10 points and also had six rebounds and seven assists.
Although the season is only four games in, George is continuing to force himself into the MVP race. George is currently averaging 27 points per game, 4.3 assists, 2.25 steals and 8.8 rebounds while shooting 53 percent from the floor,
Stephenson’s development along with Hibbert’s improvement over the offseason has the Pacers looking like a legitimate championship contender.
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