The Pistons came up a tad short in Houston Wednesday evening, losing 126-124.
After a crisp first half with a one-point lead, the Pistons gave up 37 in the third quarter and headed to the fourth down 10. Andre Drummond was held to 16 minutes in the first three quarters due to four fouls — a couple that were very questionable.
While the Pistons stayed within striking distance all second half, it wasn’t until Blake Griffin caught fire from downtown late in the fourth — hitting five straight 3-pointers to bring the Pistons within four with a minute remaining — that one thought the Pistons had a real opportunity to steal this game. A James Harden steal on a pass from Griffin in the last minute really hurt, as did a supposed offensive foul that was called on Griffin with 21 seconds left.
Harden scored 43 points and was 19-of-19 from the charity stripe. Young center Clint Capela feasted on a ton of lobs, scoring 27 on 12-of-14 shooting.
Let’s get to some individual stuff.
15 first half minutes, two turnovers, 0 points. However, he wasn’t a black hole (i.e. he kept that ball moving). Reggie had a little flurry in the third quarter with three buckets (not the greatest shot selection though), but ended up only playing 8 second half minutes. Reggie’s defense wasn’t getting it done, either.
Bullock knocked in a floater and a straight away 3 in the first half. I feel like a broken record during most of my recaps — Bullock needs more looks! In the second half, Bullock only had a single basket, which was a meaningless three pointer at the buzzer with the Rockets already up five.
Glenn Robinson III
Non-factor in six first half minutes. Glenn had a nice drive and finish in the second half, though just didn’t bring a whole lot tonight.
Blake shot just 4-of-10 in the first half, though it seemed like he was everywhere and doing everything...and that’s because he was. Blake got to the line six times, and added seven boards and four assists. He also did this:
Blake Griffin treating Clint Capela like a Kia— Bench Wob (@WorldWideWob) November 22, 2018
Pistons Bench Mob:
4 hold me back guys
1 bunny rabbit
1 pretend to be dead guy
0.5 Robert Sacre
The fourth quarter was the Blake Show, however one too many turnovers by the franchise player (nine for the game) did the team in. Blake scored an efficient 37. Blake needs more consistent help.
Andre began the scoring action with a smooth looking trey that found the bottom. Foul trouble plagued him in the half, yet he was pretty good with 11 points (with some great positioning in the paint leading to a couple easy buckets) and five boards. Dre did air-ball a corner three in the second quarter. Dre’s numbers look nice (except for 3-of-9 from the foul line), he’s just got to find a way to get more calls. Hey, refs! Give this guy a break!?!?
Stanimal played a key part in the first half bench attack (25 points from four players). Stanley didn’t hesitate on a first quarter triple and also was a pest on defense — plus he broke down Chris Paul off the dribble for an easy bucket for Pachulia. Stanley had a couple of good and a couple of bad moments in the second half — just couldn’t really put much together.
Galloway drained two triples in the first half and was mostly active in his 11 minutes. Found a few possessions guarding Chris Paul, who could barely do anything wrong and thus scored 17 in the half. Overall, Langston did his part, scoring 13 on four made triples and a technical free throw in 26 minutes. Need more looks for Galloway, too.
Ish was excellent in the first half before injuring his ankle just before the break. Ish sure didn’t seem like his usual probing or quick self in the second half. Although, he did get most of the point guard duties with Jackson being quite ineffective.
Six first half minutes for Jon — it was a mixed bag. Jon posted up on Harden once, but couldn’t get comfortable, as Harden did a good job of bodying him, and it led to Jon putting up an awkward fall-away shot. Jon took a charge in the second quarter, resulting in Harden’s third foul. He also had a nice, subtle sequence in the paint with Griffin that resulted in a point blank bucket.
Zaza wasn’t horrible in his seven first half minutes, but it was apparent the speed of Houston at all positions was just too much for his lumbering ways. Zaza scored six in the half, but was a plus-minus -7.
Pistons will meet the Rockets on Friday night at Little Caesars Arena for a re-match. Hope everyone has a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!