After a poor first-half defensive effort that saw Detroit looking at a 10-point deficit, Detroit outscored the Thunder by six in the third – and it could have been even more if it weren’t for several head scratching turnovers.
Andre Drummond and Tobias Harris, after struggling in the first-half on both ends, got it together in the third. Stanley Johnson also hit a couple of three-pointers in the quarter.
Carmelo Anthony had his moments early on in this one, but ended up with a crooked 9-for-24 shooting line. Paul George and Russell Westbrook both were pretty crooked, too. Some of their struggles were due to Detroit’s improved defensive effort in the second half, but there were a lot of open looks the Thunder just couldn’t put down. Do credit the Pistons offense (despite 20 turnovers) for putting pressure on the Thunder to score - they hit their open looks and played team basketball. Eight Pistons scored at least eight points.
Very early on in the fourth the Pistons took their first lead of the contest at 81-79, thanks in part to two straight threes by Langston Galloway and an Ish Smith semi-fast break high glasser. The Pistons kept the lead almost throughout the rest of the game and finally left unscathed as Westbrook missed a potential game winning shot at the end.
Andre Drummond cleaned the glass and made several aggressive plays in the second half while playing 22 minutes. He scored 17 and grabbed 14 boards for the game. Ish Smith scored 15 points on 11 shots and played brilliant second half defense.
There will be a couple more days off for the Pistons before they are in Boston to face the first place Celtics Monday evening.
|34||The truth Rodney White||1|