INDIANAPOLIS – Needing anyone and anything to go their way in trying to end the longest homecourt losing streak for the franchise in more than 35 years, the Pacers (20-of-23) got that on Wednesday night.
A game-clinching shot from Caris LeVert and a season-high 18 points Edmond Sumner pushed the Pacers past a pesky Pistons bunch, in a 116-111 victory.
The win ended a 6-game losing streak at Bankers Life Fieldhouse for the Pacers, which was the longest for the franchise since 1985.
LeVert had his best game as a Pacer, scoring 28 points on 10-of-19 shooting (4-of-7 from behind the arc).
It was LeVert icing the game with a step back, late shot clock, three with 5.7 seconds to go to take the lead from two points to five points.
The play of Sumner, particularly in the 4th quarter should not go unnoticed though. He went 7-of-9 from the field including a surprising 4-of-6 from behind the arc in sparking the Pacers during some tougher stretches early in the final period.
Indiana had 5 more offensive rebounds than Detroit and took 14 more shots than the visiting Pistons.
Jerami Grant had a game-high 29 points for Detroit (12-31).The NBA trade deadline is now coming on Thursday at 3:00 PM. Indiana will next be in action on Friday, when they visit the Mavericks.
Three Things Learned
1. LeVert Shows Clutch Gene: Over the weekend, we noted that the Pacers weren’t afraid to turn to Caris LeVert in late game situations. Well, that paid off on Wednesday. With the Pacers stuck in a half court possession late, it was LeVert getting the ball from Malcom Brogdon and drilling home a step back three to ice a much needed victory. LeVert has not been shy about trying to make plays late in games. That’s needed right now, even if the results have been mixed. This is what the Pacers want to see out of a guy who is a definite cornerstone piece, and someone who this franchise would love to turn to and rely on late in games.
2. Home Court Drought Over: Not a single Pacers player was alive the last time the franchise had lost 6 straight at home. That streak ended at 6 on Wednesday, thanks to clutch plays from Edmond Sumner and Caris LeVert. Full attendance or no attendance, losing 6 straight at home is inexcusable, especially when you look at the schedule of those games. This team must have full control of home court in April if they want to be on the right side of the playoff picture entering the final weeks of the season.
3. Trade Deadline: Buying? Selling? Nothing? We will find out the Pacers’ stance very soon with the NBA trade deadline arriving Thursday at 3:00 PM. Over the past few days, just about every player in the rotation for the Pacers has been rumored as being available. For the first time in quite a while, there’s many reasons for being more of a seller this year. Seeing the Pacers as an actual buyer is more difficult. When you are in a market like Indiana, you can’t overlook a unique opportunity right now to add a potential resource that could possibly go towards a long-term asset down the road.
Pacers Upcoming Schedule
-@Mavericks (Friday, 3-26, at 8:30 PM)
-@Wizards (Monday, 3/29, at 7:00 PM)
-Heat (Wednesday, 3/31, at 7:00 PM)
-Hornets (Friday, 4/2, at 8:00 PM)
-Spurs (Saturday, 4/3, at 9:00 PM)