The Oklahoma City Thunder got out to a fast start behind their superior talent. Paul George ended the first quarter with 16 points, and led the way in defensively coercing the Pistons into an ugly offensive start.
Now 7 turnovers in 10 minutes. OKC up 31-19 https://t.co/UXBgMop9jJ— Keith Langlois (@Keith_Langlois) January 27, 2018
End of 1: #Pistons down 36-24.— Jake Chapman (@JakeChapmanNBA) January 27, 2018
George with 16 already
OKC 61% FG
Then, as we’ve come to expect, the Pistons’ bench came in and outplayed the starting unit. Boban Marjanovic was a key contributor during this time, even as his limitations defensive enabled Raymond Felton to go off:
Every bucket Boban is getting is being canceled out by the Thunder on the other end in the pick-and-roll.— James Edwards III (@JLEdwardsIII) January 27, 2018
The Pistons ended the half down “only” 12. In the third quarter, the Pistons fell apart, taking almost five minutes to score their first bucket of the half.
A 15-0 OKC run to start 3Q— Keith Langlois (@Keith_Langlois) January 27, 2018
We’ve seen these slow starts to begin the third quarter multiple times throughout the year for the Pistons. With precious little shot creation from the starting lineup, the Pistons even let Stanley Johnson initiate the offense in the third, to dubious results.
Interestingly, Stanley Johnson has handled some point guard duties here in the third quarter.— Aaron Johnson (@AJohnsonNBA) January 27, 2018
Andre Roberson suffered a scary freak injury midway through the third, emptying the Thunder bench:
They brought out a stretcher for Roberson after this slip. I really hope he is okay. pic.twitter.com/dLoZ5n1Q7p— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) January 27, 2018
Unfortunately, Roberson will not be alright - his season is over.
Source: Preliminary report on OKC’s Andre Roberson: ruptured patellar tendon.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 28, 2018
The Thunder looked stunned after the Roberson injury, which allowed the Pistons to get back into the game. The bench, again, fared better than the starters, on both ends of the court.
Somehow this is a game.— Aaron Johnson (@AJohnsonNBA) January 28, 2018
Think about what we're watching, folks. Boban Marjanovic and Anthony Tolliver are leading the Pistons back from like a 20 point deficit and y'all think the Pistons are winning?— Shame (@shamshammgod) January 28, 2018
52 of Pistons 88 points from bench. Bullock 16, Boban 14, Ish 11— Keith Langlois (@Keith_Langlois) January 28, 2018
The Pistons’ bench continued to close the gap into the fourth quarter, but it was against none of the Thunder’s big three. As soon as Paul George, Carmelo Anthony, and Russell Westbrook returned, the game was all but over. The Pistons didn’t help matters by allowing some offensive rebounds late - rebounding has been a consistent issue this year.
Down 9 and needing a stop, #Pistons allow 2 offensive boards - 3rd possession ends in an Adams hook. 115-104 OKC final minute.— Jake Chapman (@JakeChapmanNBA) January 28, 2018
This loss is the seventh straight for the Pistons, who look to not make it eight against the Cleveland Cavaliers tomorrow. See y’all back here tomorrow - but if I didn’t, I wouldn’t blame you.