NBA Game Preview - Pacers v Pistons

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Indiana 19 26 21 17 83
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4:00 PM PT5:00 PM MT6:00 PM CT7:00 PM ET0:00 GMT8:00 5:00 PM MST7:00 PM EST4:00 UAE (+1)01:0019:00 ET6:00 PM CTNaN:� , December 26, 2017
Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, Michigan  Attendance: 20,451

Reconfigured Pistons lineup faces Pacers

According to STATS
According to STATS

Indiana Pacers at Detroit Pistons

  1. Myles Turner tied a career high with six blocked shots in the Pacers' 123-119 overtime win over the Nets on Saturday. The home win makes the Pacers 2-0 in overtime games this season.
  2. The Pistons defeated the Knicks, 104-101, at home on Friday. New York scored just five points from the free-throw line, which is the fewest made free throws by any Pistons opponent this season.
  3. Indiana has won 21 of its last 30 games against Detroit since the beginning of 2010-11, which is its second-best record against an Eastern Conference opponent over that time span. Only their 20-8 record against the Nets is better.
  4. Victor Oladipo has recorded a steal in 21 straight games, the longest active streak in the NBA.
  5. Andre Drummond is averaging a career-high 3.6 assists per game this season. That ranks him fourth in the NBA among centers.
  6. The Pistons allow just 8.3 opponent fast break points per game this season, which is the second lowest in the NBA. Only the Bucks allow fewer (6.6). The Pacers lead the Eastern Conference in fast break points per game (15.4).

Anthony Tolliver and Reggie Bullock have changed the dynamic of the Detroit Pistons' starting lineup -- at least in the short run.

The Pistons have become a grittier, more defensive-minded team with that duo in the starting lineup. They led the defensive effort in the closing moments of a 104-101 victory over New York on Friday, Detroit's last outing. The Knicks came up empty on their last four possessions as Detroit erased a four-point deficit.

Tolliver, a power forward, and Bullock, a swingman, will likely be in the starting five again when the Pistons face Central Division rival Indiana on Tuesday at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit.

"We both just want to win," Tolliver said. "We're very selfless people, whether it be big shots, playing defense, diving on loose balls, or taking charges. We're both willing to do those type of things to help the team win. Things are going decent with us in our starting lineup and neither one of us care, though. It's not really what we care about, we care about the end result. If that's going to help us get a win at the end of the day, that's what we want to do."

Following a seven-game skid, the Pistons (18-14) have won four of their last five. Starting shooting guard Avery Bradley has missed the last four games with a groin injury and will be sidelined once again Tuesday.

Once he returns, Tolliver or Bullock will return to a reserve role. Andre Drummond, Tobias Harris and Reggie Jackson are entrenched in the starting lineup.

The Pistons' victory Friday was a response to a woeful effort at Dallas two nights earlier, when the Mavericks blew them out 110-93.

"Taking that loss in Dallas, it hurt," Drummond said. "We didn't play with any energy in that second half, and we allowed them to get a good run. That's not who we are."

Because of a quirk in the schedule, the Pistons and Pacers (19-14) will be meeting for the final time this season. They've already faced each other three times, with Detroit holding a 2-1 edge. In the most recent meeting on Dec. 15 at Indiana, Drummond powered for 23 points and 13 rebounds in a 104-98 Pistons victory.

Indiana has won its last two games, including a 123-119 overtime victory over Brooklyn on Saturday. Shooting guard Victor Oladipo poured in 38 points. That was his second 38-point outing in three games. Oladipo now ranks sixth in the league in scoring at 25.3 points per game.

"He should be an All-Star starter. I think he deserves it," backcourt partner Darren Collison told the Indianapolis Star. "Since Day 1, he's been the leader that we've asked him to be. He should be a starter."

The Pacers home fans have taken their appreciation for Oladipo's exploits to another level, chanting "MVP" during his recent scoring explosion.

"It's pretty fun," center Myles Turner told the Star. "We're right there along with him. We tell Vic, 'Just go man.' He plays with so much energy, so much pop."

Updated December 25, 2017

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