Pacers-Pistons Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated December 15, 2012
Paul George has relished his opportunity to play a larger role for the Indiana Pacers as Danny Granger continues to recover from a knee injury. The Detroit Pistons, though, found out what he was capable of last season. After another solid performance, George looks to help guide Indiana to a season-best third consecutive victory Saturday night against Detroit, which has won three straight home meetings in the series. Granger still has yet to play due to patellar tendinitis in his left knee, but George has stepped up his offensive game and is second on the team with 16.5 points per game. Though he's gone through a few rough patches - including going 2 for 11 with four points Nov. 30 in Sacramento before a scoreless effort the following night at Golden State - George has shown flashes of a budding star. He scored a career-high 37 points in a win over New Orleans on Nov. 21 and netted 34 in a victory at Chicago on Dec. 4, which began a six-game stretch of him averaging 25.0 points while shooting 51.4 percent. George, who scored 27 in Wednesday's win over Cleveland, went 5 for 7 from 3-point range and scored 28 points in Friday's 95-85 victory over Philadelphia. "I really want the ball. I really feel right now that I can make plays and create for others,'' George said. "And when we need the shot to go down, I can make them.'' George's stat line wasn't even the most impressive on his own team Friday. George Hill had his first career triple-double with 15 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists while Roy Hibbert finished with 19 points and 13 boards. "I want to be aggressive. I was taking shots and they were dropping, so I'm happy for that,'' Hibbert said. "But I'm happier with the win.'' Coach Frank Vogel had plenty of praise for George and Hibbert. "(George is) making shots right now. It's just confidence,'' Vogel said. "Roy works harder than anybody and he's staying with it and we're staying with him.'' George, who averaged 7.0 points in his first six games against Detroit, scored 27 points and added 10 rebounds during Indiana's 103-97 win over the Pistons on April 23. The Pacers (12-11) have won 10 of the last 13 matchups, though the three defeats all came on the road in the most recent meetings in Auburn Hills. Struggling Detroit (7-18) will be looking to bounce back after Friday's 107-105 double-overtime loss in Brooklyn on Joe Johnson's jumper as the buzzer sounded. Brandon Knight scored a team-high 22 points and Tayshaun Prince added 12 and 10 rebounds for the Pistons, who have dropped three straight and seven of their last nine. "I just feel so bad for our guys," Prince said. "They worked so hard for this. They fought and fought and fought.'' Greg Monroe scored 17 points but missed two free throws with 17 seconds left in the second OT that would have given the Pistons the lead. "We showed great resolve, great fight and we competed extremely hard,'' coach Lawrence Frank said. "There's no one there that's happy with the consolation prize, (but) disappointed that we came up short because we know we got it in both regulation and overtime." Detroit has lost three straight home games since a five-game winning streak at The Palace from Nov. 18-Dec. 3.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Is Anthony Davis really the best big man from UK in the NBA?
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Arnold Palmer, one of golf’s greatest ever players, dies at age 87

Report: Russell Wilson believed to have a sprained MCL

WATCH: Travis Kelce shows off nifty dance moves after TD

Report: Miles fired by LSU; Orgeron named interim coach

WATCH: Allen Robinson does 'hands up, don't shoot' after TD

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jay Gruden sounds off about anonymous locker room leaks

Report: Beckham Jr. one bad penalty away from suspension

Report: Vikings want Peterson to retire in Minnesota

Jose Fernandez killed in boating accident

Michigan is now all-time winningest program in college football history

Wisconsin Badgers serve notice to Michigan State, rest of Big Ten

Ten biggest winners and losers from NFL Week 3

WATCH: What are the best WR-CB rivalries of all-time?

Bill Belichick may be forced to get hilariously creative to fill his quarterback slot

CFB Crash Course: Week 4 - No ranking is safe

Where does Landon Donovan's return rank among these notable athletes?

Five sports stadiums that should be renamed

WNBA playoffs head into second round after single eliminations

A 25-year award tour: Celebrating A Tribe Called Quest

YB Box Score: 9/23 - Win totals and the jobbing renaissance

WATCH: Is Anthony Davis the best Kentucky big man in the NBA?

NFL Kickoff: Week 3 - Pity the perpetually rebuilding Browns

Questions from reviewing the Vegas 2016-17 NBA win totals

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Where does Landon Donovan's return rank?

WATCH: What are the best WR-CB rivalries of all-time?

Bill Belichick may be forced to get hilariously creative to fill his quarterback slot

Five sports stadiums that should be renamed

WNBA playoffs head into second round after single eliminations

CFB Crash Course: Week 4 - No ranking is safe

A 25-year award tour: Celebrating A Tribe Called Quest

WATCH: Is Anthony Davis the best Kentucky big man in the NBA?

A statistical trip thru Vin Scully’s extraordinary career

Questions from reviewing the Vegas 2016-17 NBA win totals

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker