The Pistons beat the Minnesota Timberwolves in a 100-97 thriller on the road Sunday evening to improve to 11-5 on the young season and end a two-game losing streak in the process, if you can even call losing two games in a row a “streak”. Say, gang, let’s just call those last two Pistons losses a little hiccup.
Anyway, the Pistons once again roared back in the fourth quarter and pulled out a tough one, this time outscoring the Timberwolves by 12 in the quarter, holding them to just 17 points. A lot of different players had a hand in this solid victory, so let’s get to them:
Andre Drummond: Atrocious first half defense with zero help-side recognition. But an otherwise monster night for the big fella. Dre went out with a left arm injury at 5:58 left in the third – the injury could have been a very minor hyperextension or just a rough funny bone hit, according to Pistons.com writer Keith Langlois. Dre didn’t sit long though, and came back at the start of fourth quarter and promptly hit a hook shot over his left shoulder. Overall Dre was dominate in the fourth in many facets of the game. Minnesota star big man Karl-Anthony Towns scored just 16 points on 6-of-13 shooting and Andre had decent amount to do with it.
Watch this fourth quarter weak-side block Dre had on KAT:
And watch this crafty finish from Dre off the slick pass from Reggie:
Reggie Jackson: Didn’t have his floater or much of anything working in the first half. Come the fourth quarter, however, Reggie was patient and made so many things happen for himself and his teammates. He was the closer this team needs him to be. Reggie finished 7-for-11 from the field. Great use of his length and raw playmaking ability in these two plays.
Stanley Johnson: Had some good moments, including a very solid, patient dribble drive that ended with a made shot off the glass with a little over a minute left in the first half. As is usually the case, Stanley was active on defense, and even teamed up with Reggie for quite a cerebral maneuver that may have caused Jimmy Butler to miss the game-tying free throw. Stanley played a team-high 38 minutes.
Avery Bradley: Continued his efficient play as of late (8-for-14 shooting). Also did an admirable job checking Jimmy Butler and Andrew Wiggins, despite their strong shooting games. He often made them work hard for their opportunities. Avery had three steals but it seemed like he had more. Avery is just everywhere at times, such an active player and very quick to start the fast break.
Tobias Harris: Shot 2-for-10 in the first half even though most of the looks were good. Came out aggressive but controlled in the second half and shot 4-for-6 from then on. Had some nice moments on defense and on the defensive boards.
Anthony Tolliver: Scored a quick seven points but picked up a quick three fouls in the first half, which limited him to four minutes played (just 11 minutes for the game).
Ish Smith: Gave the team decent minutes in both halves, even knocking in a triple (not forced) in his only attempt. Finished with nine points, five assists and two turnovers.
Eric Moreland: Came in as he usually does and didn’t screw anything up. He throws his body around and plays within himself and rarely turns it over. At some point eventually you’d like to see something (anything) from him offensively, but as long as he’s battling, there’s probably regular minutes for him on this team. If it (“it” being the center rotation) ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? Right, I think.
Luke Kennard: Wasn’t his finest outing, though he battled on defense for all of his 10 minutes.
Reggie Bullock: Missed his only shot attempt, but gave the team decent minutes on defense against those tough Wolves’ wings.
If anything stood out to you, let us know in the comments.