Kentavious Caldwell-Pope came out firing on all cylinders. He scored 17 points in the first quarter and was 4-6 from three. Anthony Davis kept the Pelicans in the game with 16 points of his own in the quarter.
However, KCP would go scoreless in the second quarter. Despite that, the Pistons were still able to hold onto their lead with better defense on Anthony Davis, who was held to seven points in the period. The Pistons had a 60-54 lead at halftime.
It was relatively back and forth for the first part of the third quarter until the Pelicans went on a 12-0 run to take an eight point lead. It looked like the Pistons were going to let this one slip away.
Stan Van Gundy opted to put in a lineup of Ish Smith, KCP, Stanley Johnson, Tobias Harris, and Aron Baynes in after the timeout. They tightened up on defense and took over the game. The bench unit went on their own run and were able to get a two point lead back heading into the final frame.
The Pistons ran away with the game in the fourth quarter, they outscored the Pelicans 35-17 and primarily used the bench unit plus KCP that saved this game in the third quarter.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope went off in the fourth quarter and ended the game with a career high of 38 points and eight threes. After he went scoreless in the second quarter, it looked like it might be one of those games where he goes off in the first and does nothing the rest of the game. That certainly didn’t prove to be the case.
The Pistons were able to hold Anthony Davis to only eight points in the second half, he finished with only 31 points - quite an accomplishment considering his dominant start.
Tobias Harris continued his solid play off the bench with 19 points. Ish Smith played a great game with 15 points and 7 assists. His ability to stop the opposing point guard from just walking to the basket was a key in the Pistons tightening up their defense as they pulled away. With how awful Reggie Jackson was, it would not surprise me if he was on a very short leash from here on out.
The Pistons (22-27) will take on the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday.