Detroit Pistons doomed by turnovers in 115-109 loss at Indiana Pacers

Detroit Free Press

If there’s any relief for the Detroit Pistons after Saturday’s close road loss, it’s that they only have two road games remaining with three weeks left in the season.

The Pistons (18-43) closed their three-game road trip with a 115-109 loss to the Indiana Pacers. Malcolm Brogdon led all scorers with 26 points, and former Michigan star Caris LeVert scored 25. Detroit native and former Birmingham Detroit Country Day standout Edmond Sumner scored 22.

Jerami Grant led the Pistons with 25 points, and Mason Plumlee had 17 points, a career-high 21 rebounds, five assists and two blocks. Cory Joseph added 12 points.

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Turnovers were the biggest factor in the loss. The Pistons committed 18 of them, off of which the Pacers scored 22 points. Two turnovers in the final four minutes of the game, both forced by McConnell were particularly detrimental.

McConnell stripped Killian Hayes on a drive and found LeVert for a transition layup with 3:41 to play to give Indiana a 104-101 lead. At the 1:30 mark of the fourth, Plumlee grabbed a rebound — his 19th of the night — and mistakenly gave the ball to McConnell, who anticipated the pass to Grant.

The Pistons will now play nine of their final 11 games at home, with both road games being sandwiched between home games.

A lethargic start to the game threatened to doom the Pistons early, but they recovered before halftime. Sumner got the Pacers rolling early with 14 first-quarter points.

The Pacers led by 10 after the first quarter, and built their lead to 15 after a Doug McDermott layup nearly two minutes into the second quarter. The Pistons took off from there, using a 15-2 run to cut the deficit to 42-40.

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Grant knocked down a 3 and finished a layup to tie the game at 56 with 1:26 to play before halftime. Frank Jackson, who has been one of Detroit’s best offensive players since mid-March, split two free throws on the Pistons’ next possession to give them their first lead since early in the first quarter.

The momentum shifted back in Indiana’s favor in the third quarter. The Pistons led by eight midway through the period after Cory Joseph found Grant for an alley-oop dunk, but the Pacers closed the quarter with a 15-5 run to retake the lead.

Detroit battled in the fourth quarter, but the Pacers reeled off a 21-7 run, pushing their lead to 90-84 with 10:20 remaining. The Pistons briefly retook the lead with a Wayne Ellington 3 midway through the period, but the Pacers used a 12-0 run to take a decisive eight-point lead with 2:42 to play.

Mason Plumlee shines during loss

Plumlee has been one of the Pistons’ most versatile players this season. His playmaking from the center position has stood out, and he’s also thrived fulfilling the traditional big man roles as a lob threat, rebounder and screener.

He had missed three of the previous five games due to rest, so Saturday highlighted the variety of boxes Plumlee has checked off this season. His career-high 21 points were an obvious highlight, but he also made seven of his nine field goals and moved the ball well. Point Plumlee is always fun to watch, and he passed Grant open for a layup in transition midway through the first quarter.

Contact Omari Sankofa II at Follow him on Twitter @omarisankofa. The Free Press has started a new digital subscription model. Here’s how you can gain access to our most exclusive Pistons content. Read more on the Detroit Pistons and sign up for our Pistons newsletter.

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