For the first three quarters Friday night it was a chippy and intense back-and-forth game between the Pistons and Clippers - this being the first time the franchises have met since the big trade just over a week ago that saw Blake Griffin come to Detroit and Tobias Harris, Avery Bradley and Boban Marjanovic head to Los Angeles. The Clippers made all the big plays in the fourth quarter to end Detroit’s five-game winning streak, 108-95.
In that fourth quarter, the Pistons were dreadfully short or just plain off on a number of their shots inside and outside, managing only 15 points. The Clippers got excellent play from both Lou Williams and Austin Rivers in a 31-point fourth. Williams hit four three-pointers for the game - yet it seemed like a ton more, maybe because some of his shots were hoisted from around Grosse Ile. Third-year big man Montrezl Harrell scored 18 points (averages 8.8) in 19 minutes and was not outdone in the trash-talking department, either.
Speaking of trash-talking, it seemed a couple of times Andre Drummond and Harrell were going after it with their mouths. I’m not sure what material Andre had for the night, because his play left a lot to be desired on both ends of the court. He was 5-of-15, and save a few times on defense, was woefully out of position. Blake Griffin had a down game as well, shooting 7-of-19 from the field (1-of-7 from downtown).
Let’s get down to the individual play:
Four first half treys (six total buckets in the half) and a solid drive to the hoop. Just generally a smooth operator. Though, in the second half Reggie had some troubles on defense and only shot the ball twice. Not going to cut it. Team and coaches have to get him more opportunities - as he’s often playing big minutes (40 tonight) and the team’s best shooter (and a top-four three-point shooter in the league).
4-of-8 shooting in the first half with his usual energetic play on both ends – but got a bit greedy with the iso- half ending three. That’s not good offense and he knows that. In the second half Ish was contained a bit better and his teammates certainly didn’t do him many favors.
At least three decisive drives to the basket in the first half and finished two of them. Overall, he looks like a completely different and more “free” player.
Here’s one of them:
Love the way Stanley Johnson attacked here. Nice finish too.— Basketball Society (@BBallSociety_) February 10, 2018
(via: @clippittv) pic.twitter.com/zSAGtZTLKi
Early in the third quarter Stanley showed off his passing skills heading downhill towards the hoop a few times. However, he was pretty quiet in the second half for the most part.
A little hook shot happy in the first half. His defense was optional in the first half, too (and same for his teammates). Finished with 17 rebounds and three blocks, but a lot of the time was neutralized by DeAndre Jordan (also 17 rebounds).
Got off to a nice start against his former team with four first half assists and nine points.
Iso-Griffin is nice when he’s methodically heading towards the cup – but iso-Griffin for a settle at the three-point line isn’t exactly a recipe for success. I understand that Griffin was amped to face his old team, so we’ll let it slide this game. He scored 19 on 19 shots.
Fun stuff here that got the crowd on its feet (but the game turned in LA’s favor quickly thereafter).
WOW @blakegriffin23 #DetroitBasketball pic.twitter.com/zVlQz5JQF8— Drew Bulbuk (@DrewBulbuk) February 10, 2018
You need another angle:
That Blake Griffin block pic.twitter.com/2jV5HeG45r— Steve Noah (@Steve_OS) February 10, 2018
Anthony blew by Wesley Johnson for a dunk in the first. On defense was abused by Montrezl Harrell a couple times, but so was almost every Piston in this game.
I love Anthony being more aggressive going to the basket when his defender closes out poorly or is otherwise careless. Anthony scored 12 points on six shots (5-of-6 from the line).
He’s seen better days recently, as he shot 1-of-7, including at least three crucial misses either late in the third or early in the fourth that could have increased Detroit’s lead or stopped a Clipper run. And most of his misses tonight weren’t even close.
Four first half assists and scored a quick five on two buckets, though it was his only two buckets of the game. Played 24 minutes and was very quiet in the second half.
Detroit is back at it Sunday on the road in Atlanta.