This was a great October basketball game.
Yes, Blake Griffin scored a career-high 50 points. Exhale. Let’s take it back a bit, all the way to the second half.
A Ben Simmons-less Philadelphia 76ers controlled the majority of the game, but rarely saw their lead grow past six or seven. It was a physical affair all night - especially between Andre Drummond and Joel Embiid - and Detroit led a few times late.
Andre Drummond was tossed VERY late in the fourth after picking up his second technical for... this:
That sure looked like a Joel Embiid flop... pic.twitter.com/fbPxswOwST— Dime (@DimeUPROXX) October 24, 2018
Sure, Andre’s hand hit Embiid in the face, but Embiid really sold the contact, as he often does. Andre was done, but the Pistons weren’t just yet.
With the game tied at 120 with just over 10 seconds left, Reggie Bullock nearly got a crafty floater to fall in the lane. Then, on the last possession of regulation, Dario Saric had a fairly good look at a three with just a second or so left, but it wouldn’t go down.
120-120. EXTRA HOOPS!
Triples by Blake Griffin and Ish Smith to begin overtime gave Detroit a bit of space. Then JJ Redick answered with three points the old fashioned way, and then tied the game at 128 with a superb triple with just over two minutes remaining.
With 5.6 seconds left in overtime, Redick struck again and converted a four point play, putting the 76ers up two, 132-130.
Then Blake Griffin scored points 48, 49 and 50, after his and-1.
Game-winning and-1 to hit 50 points— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) October 24, 2018
BLAKE WENT OFF. pic.twitter.com/pUkK1eJOge
Detroit hangs on to win, 133-132.
JJ Redick scored 30, and Joel Embiid scored 33, and was just three assists short of a triple- double.
Now for some individual look ins:
Some very good stuff from Reggie tonight, and some not so great stuff. His decision-making late was iffy to say the least, but he did hit two big free throws in overtime. 23 points on 14 shots is solid, and I liked the Ish Smith at point, Jackson at two guard look that Coach Casey went with most of crunch time.
Andre made several impressive, controlled moves in the post during the first half, but just wasn’t getting any bounces. Solid overall energy on the court, though.
The third quarter wasn’t Andre’s best quarter. Whether it was picking up a frustration foul, getting a technical or going the length of the court to put up a wild, forced attempt at the rim against Embiid, Andre didn’t show much composure. Plus, Andre at the free throw line was chirping with Embiid and then promptly missed both of his free throws.
Embiid might’ve gotten in Andre’s head, but the poor refereeing is what got him ejected.
Bullock was his efficient self in the first half, shooting two-for-four from deep and not forcing a darn thing (wish Bullock would force things just a tad more). Bullock looked for his own in the second half and finished with 17 points (just a couple triples for the game). In the second half and in overtime, the Blake Griffin-Reggie Bullock two man game worked pretty nicely at times.
Stanley played 19 pretty forgettable minutes. He did make a couple good decisions on the break, but overall it was a lean game.
Blake dominated the first half everywhere but the free throw line (2-for-8), scoring 28 points on 12-for-17 shooting. Blake made Dario Saric look like a small guy over and over. In the second quarter (which feels like it happened last week), Blake ate Embiid’s sandwich and kissed his girlfriend on the lips:
Blake Griffin went off tonight !!!— Latrell FreezeWell (@ChillzMuzik) October 24, 2018
50 points & this monster dunk on Embiidpic.twitter.com/LxAiu2aDVe
Ish was relatively quiet in his 11 first half minutes, and had a little trouble with the quick and savvy T.J. McConnell. But here, Ish made Redick look silly. Little did we know, Ish was just warming up.
Ish was excellent in the second half, to put it lightly. And like legend George Blaha said, “Ish is as quick as a hiccup.” Ish got into the lane at will late and made the Sixers pay, scoring 21 on the night on nine-of-12 shooting with two huge treys.
Ish just competes his butt off and obviously has talent to boot. Steady backup point guard.
I was surprised to see 25 minutes next to Galloway’s name in the box score. Quiet game - though he did a decent job of closing out on Redick’s shots. I’d have to watch the tape a lot closer to get more of a read on his true performance.
In 17 minutes, the rugged Georgian was decent on the glass and got a couple of extra body blows and such in on the Sixers. Zaza’s lack of foot speed and agility at this stage of his career was very apparent, as he wasn’t able to contest Mike Muscala’s transition three in the fourth. Drummond was inserted back into the game promptly. Zaza, to his credit, made a few plays late in the game filling in at center for Drummond. Zaza still has some pretty quick hands!
Never forget that @JoelEmbiid got stripped by ZAZA PACHULIA in clutch moments— K3nnard4MVP (@thommc18) October 24, 2018
Luke had a strong lefty take and finish in the first half past Landry Shamet — though he wasn’t too aggressive the rest of his 11 minutes.
Blake Griffin is now the first Piston to drop 50 in a game since Rip Hamiltion (in TWO THOUSAND AND SIX). He’s the first Piston to drop 50 at home since Kelly Tripucka in 1983. He’s averaging 36 points, 11.3 rebounds, and 5.7 assists a game. He has fewer turnovers (two) than games played (three). Blake Griffin is a basketball player the likes of which we’ve rarely seen, and we should enjoy his talents for every moment they are available.
After you watch his highlights from tonight’s game, post the GIF you’re going to tweet Joel Embiid in the comment section.
Taking GIF submissions to send to Joel Embiid after a hard-fought game.— Detroit Bad Boys ☠ (@detroitbadboys) October 24, 2018