DET
IND

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Short-handed Pacers rally for 112-106 win over Pistons

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) A next-man-up mentality is keeping the Indiana Pacers competitive despite a rash of injuries.

T.J. McConnell was the key for the Pacers on Friday night in a 112-106 win over the Pistons that moved Indiana above .500 for the first time this season.

Playing all but two minutes of the fourth quarter, McConnell, the backup point guard, finished with 17 points, nine assists and five rebounds on a night the Pacers played without four members of their rotation.

''We've got to hold down the fort until those guys get back,'' McConnell said. ''I've been a guy the last five years who hasn't tried to go outside the box. I had the lane, and I took it.''

All-Star Victor Oladipo, starting center Myles Turner and his backup, Goga Bitadze, and sixth man Jeremy Lamb were out due to injury. Detroit had already beaten the Pacers twice this season. And then the Pacers fell behind by 15 points in the first quarter.

None of that fazed Indiana, which ranks in the top half of the league on defense.

''Defense is how we win games,'' said reserve Justin Holiday, who chipped in 16 points and six rebounds. ''That's our identity. We've been playing defense.''

That has helped the Pacers go 5-1 since starting the season 0-3.

''Our chemistry is growing,'' said Domantas Sabonis, who finished with 17 points, 14 rebounds and six assists. ''Coach (Nate McMillan) runs a great system that is easy to run, no matter who is on the court.''

Luke Kennard had 29 points, six rebounds and five assists, and Andre Drummond finished with 15 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists for Detroit.

Drummond had averaged 25 points and 20.5 rebounds in the two wins against the Pacers. They finally found a way Friday to slow the two-time All-Star - foul trouble.

Drummond picked up his third foul near midcourt with 4:31 remaining in the first half and sat the rest of the way. Indiana outscored the Pistons 14-2 in that span and led 57-53 at intermission.

''I told Andre you can't pick up your third foul at half court,'' Detroit coach Dwane Casey said. ''He wasn't thinking in that situation. Just a bad foul that put us in a tough position, and he knows it. He felt bad about it.''

The Pacers then opened the third quarter on an 11-2 run, causing Casey to use a timeout. Shortly after play resumed, two more baskets stretched Indiana's lead to 17, and the Pistons never got closer than six.

McConnell, whose point total was one shy of his career high, spearheaded a bench effort that accounted for 51 of the Pacers' points on a night the team shot at least 50% from the field for just the second time this season.

''(McConnell) made the difference,'' Casey said.

SCREEN CONFUSION

In his pregame media session, Casey expressed a degree of frustration in how the league is officiating screens and pick-and-roll plays.

''It changes every possession, maybe every game, what's legal, not legal,'' Casey said. ''Whether you can stick your butt out, or if you slide to your right, use your hands to push off, all of the above, we have to have some clarification. It's very difficult because those are split-second decisions.''

TIP-INS

Pistons: Star forward Blake Griffin, starting point guard Reggie Jackson and sixth-man extraordinaire Derrick Rose, averaging 20.8 points and 6.3 assists per game, all sat out due to injury. ... Detroit shot 45% with 17 turnovers.

Pacers: Warren was assessed a Flagrant 1 for his offensive foul with 2:15 left in the contest. Making both free throws off the flagrant, the Pistons added a 3-pointer for a rare five-point possession. ... Sabonis added 14 boards and six assists. ... The team's video board showed former NFL quarterback Trent Green in attendance. Green played college football at Indiana in the 1990s. He received a round of applause.

UP NEXT:

Pistons: Host Minnesota on Monday night.

Pacers: Play at Orlando on Sunday night. The Magic won three of four meetings last season.

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Key Players
A. Drummond
0 C
M. Brogdon
7 PG
34.5 Min. Per Game 34.5
22.3 Pts. Per Game 22.3
9.9 Ast. Per Game 9.9
5.0 Reb. Per Game 5.0
56.8 Field Goal % 45.8
57.3 Three Point % 46.2
67.9 Free Throw % 97.9
+ 2 Bruce Brown made layup 0:04
+ 1 Aaron Holiday made 2nd of 2 free throws 0:09
+ 1 Aaron Holiday made 1st of 2 free throws 0:09
  Personal foul on Bruce Brown 0:09
  Personal foul on Bruce Brown 0:10
  Defensive rebound by Justin Holiday 0:11
  Luke Kennard missed 3-pt. jump shot 0:13
  24-second shot clock violation turnover 0:25
+ 1 Luke Kennard made 2nd of 2 free throws 0:49
+ 1 Luke Kennard made 1st of 2 free throws 0:49
  Shooting foul on T.J. Warren 0:49
Team Stats
Points 106 112
Field Goals 39-86 (45.3%) 43-83 (51.8%)
3-Pointers 13-33 (39.4%) 4-15 (26.7%)
Free Throws 15-18 (83.3%) 22-25 (88.0%)
Total Rebounds 48 45
Offensive 10 10
Defensive 30 34
Team 8 1
Assists 27 23
Steals 6 6
Blocks 4 8
Turnovers 15 12
Fouls 26 17
Technicals 0 0
29 PTS, 6 REB, 5 AST
17 PTS, 14 REB, 6 AST
1234T
away team logo Pistons 4-6 35181934106
home team logo Pacers 5-4 27302827112
Team Stats
away team logo Pistons 4-6 108.7 PPG 41.2 RPG 24.7 APG
home team logo Pacers 5-4 106.8 PPG 45.3 RPG 25.1 APG
Key Players
L. Kennard SG 17.8 PPG 3.8 RPG 4.2 APG 45.2 FG%
D. Sabonis PF 18.8 PPG 13.4 RPG 3.6 APG 49.4 FG%
Top Scorers
L. Kennard SG 29 PTS 6 REB 5 AST
D. Sabonis PF 17 PTS 14 REB 6 AST
45.3 FG% 51.8
39.4 3PT FG% 26.7
83.3 FT% 88.0
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
L. Kennard 29 6 5 11/21 4/9 3/3 4 41 0 0 1 1 5 -2 44
A. Drummond 15 13 8 6/14 0/2 3/4 5 33 0 1 4 1 12 +9 41
M. Morris 13 2 2 5/10 2/5 1/1 3 25 1 0 2 0 2 -10 18
T. Snell 11 2 2 4/10 3/8 0/0 3 33 1 0 2 2 0 0 16
B. Brown 10 6 4 5/13 0/1 0/2 5 37 3 0 2 4 2 -12 25
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
L. Kennard 29 6 5 11/21 4/9 3/3 4 41 0 0 1 1 5 -2 44
A. Drummond 15 13 8 6/14 0/2 3/4 5 33 0 1 4 1 12 +9 41
M. Morris 13 2 2 5/10 2/5 1/1 3 25 1 0 2 0 2 -10 18
T. Snell 11 2 2 4/10 3/8 0/0 3 33 1 0 2 2 0 0 16
B. Brown 10 6 4 5/13 0/1 0/2 5 37 3 0 2 4 2 -12 25
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
L. Galloway 19 3 3 5/11 3/6 6/6 2 31 0 1 0 1 2 -7 29
S. Mykhailiuk 7 2 2 2/4 1/2 2/2 0 16 0 0 1 0 2 +5 12
T. Maker 2 4 0 1/2 0/0 0/0 4 10 1 2 2 1 3 -9 7
C. Wood 0 2 1 0/1 0/0 0/0 0 10 0 0 1 0 2 -4 3
D. Rose - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
R. Jackson - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
B. Griffin - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Frazier - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
K. Thomas - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Bone - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
S. Doumbouya - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
L. King - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 106 40 27 39/86 13/33 15/18 26 236 6 4 15 10 30 -30 195
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
T. Warren 17 4 0 7/16 0/1 3/3 3 32 1 1 2 2 2 +3 21
D. Sabonis 17 14 6 6/14 0/2 5/6 4 38 0 1 1 4 10 +6 43
M. Brogdon 11 6 2 4/11 0/1 3/3 3 32 2 0 3 0 6 +8 20
J. Sampson 10 2 0 4/5 0/1 2/3 3 27 1 1 1 1 1 +4 13
A. Holiday 6 6 5 2/7 0/2 2/2 0 28 2 0 3 2 4 +9 21
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
T. Warren 17 4 0 7/16 0/1 3/3 3 32 1 1 2 2 2 +3 21
D. Sabonis 17 14 6 6/14 0/2 5/6 4 38 0 1 1 4 10 +6 43
M. Brogdon 11 6 2 4/11 0/1 3/3 3 32 2 0 3 0 6 +8 20
J. Sampson 10 2 0 4/5 0/1 2/3 3 27 1 1 1 1 1 +4 13
A. Holiday 6 6 5 2/7 0/2 2/2 0 28 2 0 3 2 4 +9 21
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
T. McConnell 17 5 9 8/10 0/0 1/1 0 21 0 1 0 1 4 0 41
J. Holiday 16 6 0 4/7 2/5 6/7 2 30 0 4 1 0 6 +3 25
D. McDermott 14 0 1 6/11 2/3 0/0 1 19 0 0 1 0 0 -3 15
T. Leaf 4 1 0 2/2 0/0 0/0 0 8 0 0 0 0 1 0 5
J. Lamb - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
N. Mitrou-Long - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
V. Oladipo - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Turner - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
E. Sumner - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A. Johnson - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
G. Bitadze - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
B. Bowen - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 112 44 23 43/83 4/15 22/25 17 235 6 8 12 10 34 +30 204