Golden State Warriors used transition opportunities to run away from the Detroit Pistons for a final score of 109-95. But despite the blowout score, there was so much to like about the way the Pistons competed in this game.
Stephen Curry survived with his team's undefeated record still intact, but you can be sure that he's glad that he doesn't have to square off against Kentavious Caldwell-Pope on a regular basis. A night after making life miserable for Damien Lillard in the fourth quarter, KCP pestered Curry into the first human performance of his season. His effort on defense was relentless, and kept the Pistons in the game.
The Warriors set the tone right out of the gate, running up a quick eight-point lead. But it was actually the bench that mitigated the damage to keep the Pistons in the game in the first half. But that wouldn't be the case in the second half.
The Pistons spent the whole game as Sisyphus, but nearly got the rock to the summit in the third as Reggie Jackson closed the quarter with a buzzer beater to pull the Warriors lead to just four points. But Steve Blake spent the fourth quarter looking like a Breaking Madden character, putting the Pistons on the receiving end of a fourth quarter beatdown.
Blake gave up five quick points to Leandro Barbosa, then turned the ball over trying to call timeout. By the time the dust cleared, the starters were looking at a 14-point deficit to overcome with just seven minutes to go. And Reggie Jackson had injured something on that third quarter buzzer beater.
On the bright side though, Stanley Johnson made his first legitimate impact in a Pistons uniform. Johnson was effective on both ends of the court, taking advantage of a garbage time three to score 20 points for the first time in his career. He also offered seven rebounds in his 32 minutes.
The Pistons' franchise players Reggie Jackson and Andre Drummond both struggled through tough nights. Drummond fought hard on the glass and defensively, but was well-defended by the Warriors in the post and forced into a number of difficult shots. Jackson also found little room to operate and had ball security issues in the first half. Their numbers were decent with 14 points and 15 rebounds for Drummond and 20 points and five assists for Jackson, but it took their very best efforts to get there.
Marcus Morris is also becoming an increasingly indispensable part of the Pistons squad, playing 43 minutes on the night. He served as the go-to offensive weapon for the bench and finished with 15 points.
Detroit falls to 5-2 on the season, with their next game on this tough road trip coming Wednesday against the Sacramento Kings at 10 p.m. EST.