John Loyer's NBA head coaching debut started much like Maurice Cheeks' 50-game tenure with the Pistons ended -- with an up-tempo win. Only a couple days after dropping a season-high 126 points on the Nuggets and a little more than a day after the Cheeks firing, the players responded by keeping the pedal to the metal and winning their fifth straight home game rather convincingly -- only this time it was against a top-seeded team.
A 15-5 run in the final 3:15 of the second quarter, paced by back-to-back-to-back three pointers -- three of the five the Pistons made in the entire game -- helped put the Pistons up 11 at the half, 59-48 (one point shy of eclipsing the 60-point mark at the half in the third straight game).
The Pistons didn't let up in the third quarter, beginning it on a 10-2 run and increasing their lead to as many as 23. The win was never really in jeopardy after that, although George Blaha during a fourth quarter letdown and some Pistons precedence wanted you to feel differently.
Who stood out:
John Loyer. The once easily overlooked sitting assistant is now the man in charge, so naturally it was easier to take notice of the 'unfamiliar' imposing figure standing, shouting orders with every trip up and down the floor. Loyer looked like a natural in his first game as an NBA head coach.
-- The Pistons had six players in double figures, led by Brandon Jennings' 21 points. That's 82 points in his last three games on high-shooting percentage.
-- DrumMonroe combined for 14-for-20 shooting, 29 points and 19 rebounds. Drummond had three blocks, none more impressive than this blockassist. Monroe had a double-double and was generally awesome.
-- The Spurs shot an impressive 59-percent in the second quarter, but were outdone by the Pistons, who shot 61 percent and hit 4 of their game's 5 threes on 7 tries (57 percent).
-- The Pistons finished 5 for 16 from three.
-- The Pistons shot 15 extra free throws than the Spurs (26-11).
-- Light, playful mood between Drummond and Loyer after the game -- the Pistons' big man embraced his new head coach and they shared a laugh. I bet they went out for ice cream afterward and are playing Call of Duty on Xbox Live together right now, too.
-- Before the game, Loyer was on the Pistons bench with a computer, reviewing video with Kyle Singler.
-- The Pistons are off on Tuesday and then finish up the pre-All-Star break slate at home against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday night. The Pistons are currently tied with the Bobcats for the No. 8 spot, but the Bobcats get the edge because of their head-to-head record.
-- Box Score
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-- Roll Call: