(The Sports Xchange) - A spirited performance by the bench allowed the Indiana Pacers to notch their first victory of the season with a 94-82 win over the previously unbeaten Detroit Pistons at The Palace.
Reserve guard Rodney Stuckey scored a team-high 23 points and sparked a 22-0 first-half outburst as the Pacers bench outscored the Pistons’ reserves 43-2.
“Credit Rodney Stuckey,” Indiana coach Frank Vogel said. “He really drove the engine with that group. We put the ball in his hands a lot and a lot of good things happened.”
The former Pistons point guard made nine of 14 field goal attempts and five of six free throws for the Pacers (1-3).
Paul George supplied 16 points, nine rebounds and six assists, George Hill contributed 12 points, six rebounds, six assists and four steals and Monta Ellis added 15 points.
“I‘m happy we were able to turn the corner in this game,” George said. “This is a quality win. Detroit’s playing some great basketball right now, they’ve got a lot of good pieces here. We were able to come out as the aggressors.”
Vogel was pleased to see his club come out with a sense of urgency.
“The first win always feels good but especially when you start 0-3,” he said. “It hasn’t been a fun couple of days for anybody in our organization. It’s been a little edgy and rightfully so. It’s good to see our guys get after it tonight.”
Andre Drummond recorded his second consecutive 20-20 game for the Pistons (3-1) with 25 points and a career-high 29 rebounds. His second career 25-25 game matches the amount recorded by the rest of the league since his rookie season of 2012-13.
Detroit point guard Reggie Jackson contributed 20 points and six assists but also committed a game-high six turnovers.
“Tonight, we just got real stagnant,” Pistons’ Marcus Morris said. “The ball didn’t move as much as the first couple of games and they made shots. Stuckey came in and played real well. He saved them.”
Compiled by Peter Rutherford