Pacers look to sustain momentum from win at Memphis when Pistons visit

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indiana Pacers and Detroit Pistons enter Friday night's game coming off entirely different experiences in their last outings.

The Pacers, who have lost a few significant second-half leads this season, almost blew another before holding on to beat host Memphis 116-113 on Wednesday night.

In the meantime, the Pistons trailed by 13 points entering the fourth quarter and came up short in a 99-95 loss at Milwaukee that same night.

"I give our team a lot of credit," Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy told the Detroit Free Press. "We're a team that fights hard. It's a frustrating night, we really didn't do anything well. I couldn't find any offense to run to help us, but they hung in there."

Given all his team'sunimpressive numbers (35 percent shooting, 18 turnovers), Van Gundy said he was amazed his Pistons (10-4) lost by only four points.

"I think most nights that happens you're losing by 20 and heading out of the building," Van Gundy said. "There's a lot of things we have to learn from this. Look at the film, learn, be better."

Van Gundy said Milwaukee should get credit as well for playing outstanding defense.

For the most part, Pacers coach Nate McMillan was pleased with his team's showing against Memphis.

"We fought through some things in that fourth quarter," said McMillan, whose team improved to 7-8. "We played three solid quarters of good basketball. We still have to work on defend in the paint. (The Grizzlies) finished with 64 points in the paint. Going down the stretch, we knew they were going to make a run and we got the stops we needed at the right time and we made the shots we needed in the fourth quarter."


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Memphis trailed by as many as 17 in the fourth quarter. Like his coach, Indiana guard Victor Oladipo saw some positives.

"We have to do a better job of sustaining a lead down the stretch, but for the most part we played pretty well," Oladipo said. "On the defensive end, they went on a little second-half run, so we have to work on that. But there are some good things there we can work on. We have to continue to keep getting better and continue to correct the correctibles."

McMillan said a goal of the game was to play faster.

"We did that, we got out and pushed the ball," McMillan said.

The Pistons topped Indiana 114-97 in the teams' first meeting this season Nov. 8 in Detroit. The game was tied at 65 in the third quarter when Detroit went on a 13-0 run to grab control. Pistons forward Tobias Harris led Detroit with 23 points in that meeting.

The 6-foot-9 Harris, who has a team-high 19.6-point average, was named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week earlier this week. He averaged 21.3 points while shooting 48.9 percent from the field and 63.6 percent from the 3-point line in the three victories over the week.