Indiana Pacers’ big men outduel Detroit Pistons, 111-102
By MICHAEL MAROT
AP Sports Writer
INDIANAPOLIS — Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis gave the Indiana Pacers exactly what they needed Monday night.
They fought for position, repeatedly challenged Andre Drummond in the middle and made big play after big play.
Indiana’s two tallest players combined to score 35 points and grab 18 rebounds, and Turner added five blocks to help the struggling Pacers snap a three-game losing streak with a 111-102 victory over the Detroit Pistons.
“We played our game,” Pacers coach Nate McMillan said. “We did a good job of taking the ball, rebounding the basketball, getting out in transition. We played our game.”
The Pacers did it by essentially battling to a rebounding draw, holding a 52-34 scoring advantage in the paint and taking the constant cues from Sabonis and Turner.
Sabonis finished with 18 points and 12 rebounds before fouling out midway through the fourth, while Turner added 17 points, six rebounds and three steals. Thaddeus Young and Bojan Bogdanovic each scored 19 to lead the Pacers.
The Pistons, who had a two-game winning streak snapped, started the game 7 of 11 on 3-pointers and built a 33-23 lead after one quarter.
They couldn’t keep it up, though, and missed a chance to move closer to clinching their first playoff spot in three years because Brooklyn, Miami and Orlando also lost.