Another fourth quarter. The Pistons actually came out hot in the third quarter, slimming a 10-point deficit into just three going into the fourth. But as Shinons* pointed out earlier in the day, the Pistons are the worst in the fourth quarter and they showed us why again on Sunday.
The Pistons were outscored 32-25 in the final frame and it felt worse than that, as the Pistons' final four points were stat padders. The Mavericks hit four of their game's seven three-pointers and it was coincidentally Jose Calderon who put the nail in the coffin with a jumper that put the Mavs up 10 with 2:37 left. Dirk Nowitzki put the flowers on top with back-to-back makes a minute or so later to extend the lead to 16.
What stood out:
-- Horrible defense. The Mavericks shot 58 percent!
-- Maurice Cheeks.
-- 11 seconds into the second half, Cheeks subbed Andre Drummond out of the game for Josh Harrellson. Drummond went back in a few minutes later, but was again taken out a few minutes later after some bad play. Cheeks on it via MLIVE:
"It was about his play, just about his play," Cheeks said of the quick hook. "He went right back in. It's a learning experience to do what we're trying to do out of a timeout (actually halftime), and I don't think he did it right. We took him out, we put him right back in." [...]
"He just had a bad game," Cheeks said. "The guy's 20 years old. We're not going to expect him to be like a machine every night, to go get 18, 19 rebounds. He's 20 years old. He didn't have a good game."
After the game, Drummond would not speak to the media, clearly unhappy about what happened. He finished with 4 points and 6 rebounds.
Who stood out:
-- Greg Monroe had 20 points on 9-for-13 shooting and 9 rebounds in just 29 minutes. The first three plays of the game ran through him, resulting in six quick points and putting the Pistons up 6-2 early. The Pistons seemed to feature Monroe again in the fourth, helping them cut a nine-point deficit into five, but Monroe was benched for Josh Smith after the Mavs scored two quick baskets in the paint. Smith immediately hoisted -- and missed -- a three and the Mavs scored another two quick baskets. Monroe came back in for Drummond, who was benched for the third time in the game, and made a hook. Monroe attempted -- and made -- three shots in the fourth quarter.
-- Brandon Jennings was a huge reason the Pistons got back into the game in the third quarter, scoring 12 points on 5-for-9 shooting. Unfortunately, when he starts hitting shots like he was in the third, he refuses to look to make plays in any other way and begins to force bad shots. He finished with 26 points, 4 points coming in the final garbage minute of the game, and he also had 7 assists and 6 turnovers.
-- Josh Smith had 25 points on 24 shots. Ew. [GIF via MFMP in GameThread]:
-- Tony Mitchell played the final 47 seconds in his home state. There was squealing.
-- Box Score
-- The Pistons are now 17-27, the same exact record they had after 44 games last year. It only cost them $80 million to do it! Alas, they did it! Congratulations, Pistons!
-- Roll Call
|20||The truth Rodney White||11|