Detroit was officially eliminated from playoff contention on Tuesday, ending an eight-year postseason run. Indiana helped contribute to that mark, sweeping the four-game season series.
The Pacers took control from the outset, using a 17-8 scoring stretch over the final 5:50 of the first quarter. Granger’s 25-foot jumper capped the first- quarter scoring for a 29-18 edge.
Detroit flipped a switch in the second stanza, using a 12-1 burst to square the contest. Two Jason Maxiell free throws and a Prince layup made the score 34-34. The two teams jockeyed for position during the remainder of the half with Watson’s long-distance jumper giving the visitors a 52-49 lead entering intermission.
The Pacers opened a 66-59 lead over halfway through the third quarter, as a Rush three-pointer and subsequent layup increased the advantage to seven. A 66-62 game quickly turned into a double-digit affair, as the visitors closed the third-quarter proceedings with an 11-4 stretch for a 77-66 margin.
The edge grew to 16 at 82-66 early in the fourth, and the margin never got lower than eight at 85-77 on a Villanueva trey with 5:44 to go. Indiana tallied the next five capped by Granger’s trey to restore order.
Game Notes: Indiana made 43.4 percent of its shots, while the Pistons converted on 36.9 percent of their attempts, including a dismal 7-of-23 effort from beyond the arc…The game featured nine ties and six lead changes…Indiana collected 20 second-chance points to just nine for Detroit…Detroit’s Kwame Brown posted a season-high 15 rebounds to go along with two points.