The Detroit Pistons continued their season with the tail end of a back-to-back against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday night. Despite tying the game up at 88-88 with just a few minutes to go in the game, the Pistons fell short, losing 97-91.
It seemed pretty evident that Stan Van Gundy had a sit down with the Pistons after last night's game. Josh Smith only shot 16 times (making five), which is better than 22. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope only shot 13 times, which is better than 19. However, the Pistons as a team still shot horribly going 38-for-91 on the game, good for 42 percent.
There were a couple of similarities tonight to last night's contest:
- Andre Drummond in foul trouble - he finished the game with five, had to sit seven-plus minutes in the third quarter with four fouls.
- Brandon Jennings started, but didn't finish - though Jennings had more assists, he was still outplayed by D.J. Augustin
- The Pistons were close at the half - down two yesterday, down one today.
However, this game was much farther apart than the final score shows. At one point, the Timberwolves were up by 19 points. Had it not been for the inspiration (*cough* veteran savvy leadership *cough*) of Caron Butler, the game would have likely continued in that direction. Butler was 0-for-3 in the first half. But with just a few minutes to go in the third, he started to put on a show. Butler finished the third with two three-pointers to bring the Pistons back to within 10 at the end of the quarter.
Butler didn't stop there. To start the fourth quarter, he was just as hot. He finished the game going 10-for-14 (10-12 in the second half) and 4-for-7 from deep (4-5 in the second half) to finish with 24 points. His play seemed to lift up the other Pistons, as during Butler's onslaught (which also included some very nice cuts), D.J. Augustin started getting hot and hit his only three-pointer of the night on five attempts.
As was the case in the last game, Jennings started the first and third quarters, but Augustin finished them. D.J. finished 6-for-18 shooting for 20 points to go with six assists against two turnovers and corralled three rebounds. He was perfect from the charity stripe going 7-for-7.
Drummond and Smith were out-matched by Nikola Pekovic and Thaddeus Young. Pekovic and Young finished a combined 36 points (on 14-for-26 shooting) and 15 boards to Smith and Drummond's combined 21 points (on 10-for-30 shooting), 19 boards and four blocks.
A more detailed analysis will be along later.
The Pistons are back at it on Saturday for their home opener against the Brooklyn Nets.
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