During the Pistons brief two game winning streak, they followed a similar script. Keep things close until midway through the third quarter, then stomp on the gas. That script got flipped on them tonight.
The Pistons couldn’t get anything going to open the second half. After going to the locker room with a two point lead, the starters scored just seven points in nine minutes before handing the game over to the bench - along with a 13 point Pacers lead.
In those two previous wins, those third quarter runs tended to take place once the bench hit the court. Particularly Ish Smith for Reggie Jackson. Not tonight. When Ish handed the game back to Reggie, the lead had extended to 17 and the game was no longer in doubt.
After shooting 49 percent in the first half, the Pistons shot just 30 percent in the second.
Marcus Morris and Jon Leuer led the Pistons in scoring, with 19 points and 14 points respectively.
But the number of bad performances certainly outweighed the good for Detroit. Andre Drummond had six turnovers. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had another rough shooting night, putting up 2-9. Aside from his brilliant 38 point performance against the New Orleans Pelicans, he’s struggled mightily on both ends since his return from his shoulder injury.
When you need to start a new paragraph to get to the rest of the struggles. Oy. Reggie Jackson brought little to the court, shooting 3-11 from the field and finishing -24. And Tobias Harris had his worst game since moving to the bench, shooting 2-9 and offering up 3 turnovers.
In a game against a division rival also pushing for playoff positioning, the Pistons flopped. They’ve now lost all three of their games against Indiana this season and eight of their last nine matchups. And by an average of 13 points. I’m never writing smack about another team again.
Next up, Monday at the Palace against the Philadelphia 76ers - who thankfully stink again, losing five of their last six.
(Well that pledge of not writing smack about other teams didn’t last long...)
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