Pistons can’t find offense, suffer first Summer League loss to Pacers

Detroit News

It’s hard to generate offense when most of your best players are sitting on the bench.

That was the case for the Pistons Tuesday night as they struggled to put the ball in the basket in a 101-87 blowout loss to the Indiana Pacers, marking Detroit’s first loss of the Las Vegas Summer League.

Detroit rested rookie guard Jaden Ivey, who tweaked his right ankle in the first quarter of Saturday’s game against the Washington Wizards. The Pistons were also without the services of Isaiah Livers and Isaiah Stewart.

Detroit had a starting lineup of Charlie Moore, Buddy Boeheim, Anthony Tarke, Braxton Key and Jalen Duren. It was a new group for the Pistons — Duren being the only player to start all three Summer League games — and it lacked cohesiveness early on.

The key difference between the two teams was the rebounding battle and Detroit’s inability to score, credit to the Pacers’ swarming defense.

More: Pistons observations: Detroit rests key players, Jalen Duren shows promise

Indiana had the edge on the boards, 44-24. Detroit shot 44.3% (31-for-70) from the field and trailed by as many as 30 points. Detroit only had nine made field goals through the first two quarters of the game.

Despite the large deficit, Detroit showed toughness and resiliency towards the end of the game with a 19-4 run at one point in the fourth quarter.

Boeheim, who’s on a two-way contract with the Pistons, led the way with 18 points. The former Syracuse star showed his primary skill set with three made 3-pointers on five attempts.

Stanley Umude also chipped in 14 points and three rebounds. Duren started slow, but gained more confidence as the game went on and finished with 12 points and three rebounds.

Indiana forward Bennedict Mathurin showed why he was taken with the No. 6 overall pick after scoring a game-high 20 points and adding five rebounds, three assists and three steals. Three other Pacers players had double scoring figures, including Terry Taylor (14), Isaiah Jackson (14) and Aaron Nesmith (12).

Detroit’s next game will be played on Thursday against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Tip-off is set for 5:30 p.m. and the game will be televised on NBA TV.


Twitter: @MikeACurtis2

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