Pistons looking for third win over Pacers

A quirk in the schedule pits Central Division rivals Detroit and Indiana against each other for the third time this season.The Pistons have already defeated the Pacers twice heading into their meeting Friday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.Both teams will be missing key players in Friday’s matchup.Detroit’s All-Star forward Blake Griffin hasn’t played this season due to hamstring and knee injuries, though he has been cleared to resume basketball activities.Indiana’s star guard Victor Oladipo is still working his way back from a serious quad injury suffered last season.Detroit’s three point guards — Reggie Jackson, Derrick Rose and Tim Frazier — haven’t played the last three games. Jackson won’t return for several weeks, while the other two are listed as day-to-day.Indiana played without two other starters, center Myles Turner and guard Jeremy Lamb, on Wednesday due to ankle sprains.Forced to improvised on Wednesday, both teams thrived under adversity with superior ball movement.The Pistons piled up 37 assists in a 122-102 victory over the New York Knicks on Wednesday. The assist total was their highest since February 2010 and just one less than the NBA season high.”Thirty-seven assists is huge,” coach Dwane Casey said. “That’s something that we went into the game wanting to do — move the basketball. Andre (Drummond) did a heck of a job. Those are the things we’ve got to continue to do.”Drummond filled the stat sheet once again with 27 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists. Drummond is averaging 21.9 points, a league-high 18.6 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 2.2 blocks and 1.7 steals.

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