NBA: Pacers rout short-handed Pistons
NBA

NBA: Pacers rout short-handed Pistons

/ 03:17 PM March 21, 2024

Indiana Pacers Pascal Siakam NBA

Indiana Pacers forward Pascal Siakam (43) passes as Detroit Pistons center Jalen Duren (0) defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, March 20, 2024, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

DETROIT — Pascal Siakam had 25 points and eight rebounds, Tyrese Haliburton added 20 points and nine assists, and the Indiana Pacers routed the short-handed Detroit Pistons 122-103 in the NBA on Wednesday night.

“This was a great team performance,” Haliburton said. “We did a great job of getting out and running in the second half, and we knew that would get our shots to fall.”

Aaron Nesmith added 14 points as the Pacers swept the four-game season series from the Pistons. Isaiah Jackson, playing 25 miles south of his hometown, had 10 points, 11 rebounds and six assists.

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“Isaiah Jackson should be the poster person for every young player that is developing and supposed to be staying ready,” Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said. “Myles (Turner) was dealing with a little bit of a bug, so we knew Isaiah was going to get some extra minutes at home, and he changed the game when he got in there.”

The game was the first on Indiana’s five-game road trip.

“This is a great start to the trip, but this is only the beginning,” Carlisle said.

Cade Cunningham had 23 points, 10 assists and six rebounds for Detroit, which lost its fourth straight.

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The Pistons played without starting forwards Ausur Thompson (blood clots) and Isaiah Stewart (hamstring), who were each ruled out for the season on Wednesday. Tosan Evbuomwan made his first NBA start and Stanley Umude made his second before leaving with an ankle injury.

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“There’s no excuse — I don’t care about the talent level,” Pistons coach Monty Williams said. “I’ve spent my entire NBA career overcoming. That’s just what it is. No player in this league has accomplished anything without overcoming.”

Indiana led 54-52 with 1:27 left in the first half, but went on a 33-9 run to take a 26-point lead late in the third quarter.

“I think we especially struggled in the third quarter, and it has been the third quarter for a few games for us,” Cunningham said. “We have to come out, our first group, and be better in the second half.”

The makeshift Pistons lineup struggled to defend the highest-scoring offense in the league, and couldn’t make up for it on the other end. Detroit went 5 for 23 on 3-pointers, including 1 for 9 from the starters.

The Pacers led 98-78 going into the fourth and quickly emptied the bench. Haliburton didn’t play in the fourth, Myles Turner played 48 seconds and Siakam played 1:09.

Chimeze Metu made his Pistons debut in the second quarter, extending the franchise record to 29 players used in a season. The 2020-21 Houston Rockets hold the NBA record of 30.

“You don’t know what it is like to go through a season like that unless you’ve been through it,” Carlisle said of Williams. “Monty is a great friend and universally respected in our profession. That team has gotten light years better, even if it isn’t showing up yet in the win column.”

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NEXT NBA SCHEDULE

Pacers: At the Golden State Warriors on Friday.

Pistons: Host the Boston Celtics on Friday.

TAGS: Indiana Pacers

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