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Pistons vs. Clippers: Pistons clipped in fourth quarter

Typical struggles came back to haunt the Pistons as they fell short on the upset.

Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

The Pistons played the Clippers closely through before falling apart in the fourth quarter on the second night of a back to back.

It was a competitive first half, with each team making runs in the first two quarters. The Pistons used a 12-0 run in the first behind some nice ball movement and Josh Smith and Andre Drummond getting into the passing lanes. They started to pull away in the second to a 10 point lead before the Clippers closed with an 8-0 run of their own.

For the second straight night, Drummond came out dominating with a 10 point, 6 rebound first quarter, also adding a block and a steal. But once again, he had little to offer for the rest of the game, finishing with a still-nice 17 and 13.

Spencer Dinwiddie made the most of his opportunity for backup point guard minutes. After looking lost last night in Milwaukee, he was confident and aggressive, finishing with 10 points and 4 assists. D.J. Augustin also bounced back from a rough outing with a strong though uneven outing.

Cartier Martin had his first extended minutes in a Pistons uniform in the first half, missing his three attempts from three. But a healthy Martin called to question a larger issue. Josh Smith opened at small forward for the first eight minutes of the first quarter and the first eight minutes of the second half.

With plenty of healthy wing players available, why does Stan Van Gundy continue to opt for this lineup that clearly isn't working?

Smith, by the way, went 7-17 from the field. Greg Monroe also had a tough game, finding little room in the paint on his way to 6 points and 9 rebounds.

Kyle Singler only had 7 minutes, but they were 7 nice ones. In the first half he had two emphatic dunks and a technical foul, so, you know, the usual. He also drilled a three in a quick fourth quarter stint.

For the Clippers, it was Chris Paul and Jordan Crawford carrying the load. The pair combined for 48 points on only 28 shots. The Clippers were also hot from three, shooting 43 percent.

Pistons host the Bucks next on Friday night. Happy Thanksgiving, folks - and for our non-American DBBers, have a nice Thursday.