Hell Week in Detroit continues, as the Pistons fall 102-98 to the Golden State Warriors. Kevin Durant led the way with 36 points and Klay Thompson scored 21 points for the Warriors, who (as Dave Pasch would not stop reminding us) went 6-0 on their road trip.
Give the Pistons this: They FOUGHT the tired Warriors. Kevin Durant turned the ball over late, resulting in an Avery Bradley three. Shaun Livingston missed two free throws that would have iced the game - and the Pistons got the rebound. Then, down two with 20 seconds left, Reggie Jackson drove headlong into the teeth of the Warriors defense and drew some contact - but not enough to warrant a foul call. Warriors ball, Detroit forced to foul, Klay Thompson drills two free throws to give us the final score.
Avery Bradley led the way with 25 points, Andre Drummond scored eight points and pulled down 17 rebounds, and the Pistons’ bench acquitted itself well, with Anthony Tolliver and Boban Marjanovic (who appears to be back in the rotation) both scoring in double digits.
Well, we knew this was a possibility, but the reality of it feels awful for Pistons fans. Yes, the Pistons are playing against tough competition. Yes, the bulk of the games have been close. Yes, the Pistons probably were not going to play like a 60-win team forever, and they still look like a team that should compete for a playoff spot. The bloom is off the rose, though. The chrome gleam of the undefeated five-game homestand and early season wins against the Boston Celtics, the Minnesota Timberwolves, and these same Golden State Warriors has rusted.
If you want to rage - at the officiating, at the NBA schedulers, at the players, the coaches - I won’t stop you. If you want to panic, I won’t stop you. I won’t join you, but I understand where you’re coming from.
There is one more exceedingly tough game for Detroit - they play the Eastern Conference-leading Boston Celtics on Sunday. After that, there is light at the end of the tunnel - a home game against the injured Denver Nuggets, then road games against the bad Atlanta Hawks (winnable) and no-longer-surprising Indiana Pacers (good team, but not Milwaukee or San Antonio or Golden State). There’s no reason the Pistons can’t rip off three straight wins to right the ship.