The Detroit Pistons used an unstoppable bench to the team’s easiest win of the season 132-98 against the San Antonio Spurs. The Pistons were led by Christian Wood with a career-high 28 points (on 14 shots!!!) and 10 rebounds.
While Wood is masterful at making something out of nothing it never hurts when a point guard is looking to provide him some easy looks at the rim and Derrick Rose was only too happy to oblige.
Rose has been struggling a bit of late, and struggled tonight in the first half, but he was completely locked in during the second half. After stepping onto the court with a 16-point cushion with 4:50 left in the third quarter, Rose went to work.
Rose moved the ball, boosted the energy and at one point hit a 3 and then assisted on Detroit’s next three possessions to push the lead to 24 and then a Wood 3-pointer off a Langston Galloway pass pushed the score to 96-71 and the game was effectively over.
Detroit’s offense was humming all game long but, this being the Pistons, it looked like a game they were all too capable of giving away. The Pistons had a 15-point first half lead and then went seven possessions with zero points and four turnovers. The team was lucky to escape the half with a seven-point cushion.
I’m not sure if coach Dwane Casey said anything at halftime or if it was simply a matter of a bad Spurs team already down LaMarcus Aldridge eventually just fading, but Detroit just put them through the woodchipper in the second half.
But the player of the game was certainly Wood. He has gone from unlikely to make the final roster to out of the rotation to supplanting Thon Maker and putting in a career-high night.
Wood did what he always does on the offensive end — found ways to be insanely productive despite having nothing called for him. He cuts hard, can absorb contact and contort his long limbs in crazy ways and then use his crazy soft touch to make the impossible look easy and the narrowest of openings into thunder dunks.
Wood was 11-of-14 from the floor and even showed his extended range to the tune of two 3-pointers.
Rose finished the night with 10 points and, more importantly, 10 assists. They were the kind of passes that set a tone and pace for the game and really opened up the offense for Detroit’s bench players on a night when they were feeling it.
Luke Kennard scored 20 as well including hitting four 3s while Svi Mykhailiuk scored 13 points on 5-of-6 shooting. Bruce Brown also had a sneaky good game with 13 points including several tough finishes after contact in the lane. Andre Drummond had nine points, 16 rebounds and three blocks.
Finally, of course, there is rookie Sekou Doumbouya who was called up from the Grand Rapids Drive. Doumboya scored his first NBA points in garbage time, and he did it in true Sekou fashion.
Anyone who has watched the Drive this season has seen Sekou use his athleticism to knife his way into the lane and he did that for the Pistons as well. His first basket was a looping cut to the basket from the elbow with Tim Frazier able to find him. Despite some contact, Doumbouya was able double clutch and lay it in softly. He missed the free throw. His next basket was a nifty little spinning lay-up in traffic off another Frazier dime with a nice high bank off an awkward angle.
The Spurs were led by DeMar DeRozan who was I hoping would have an off night just because I don’t want his former coach Dwane Casey to do anything dumb and ask for the team to trade for him.
Unfortunately, DeRozan was his typical mid-range maestro. He had 20 points and went to the line eight times (making seven). He didn’t do much else, but he’s certainly not the reason the Spurs got blown out.
The Pistons next play a road contest against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday.