Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: The Detroit Pistons were able to keep it close through a half of play, before their opponents took an ever-widening lead in the third quarter due to Detroit’s turnovers and halftime adjustments made by the opposition. Tonight, the opponent was the Utah Jazz, and the Pistons managed to actually be UP at halftime, but were outscored 29-18 in the third quarter.
Derrick Rose led the way for the Pistons with 20 points and four assists off the bench, and Andre Drummond had his usual divisive performance - 15 points (on 16 shots), 13 rebounds, three assists, eight (!) stocks, and seven (!!!) turnovers - as it appeared he wanted to take it to his Jazz counterpart, Rudy Gobert. Louis King and Sekou Doumbouya managed to see the court in garbage time as well for Detroit, but did not record anything in the box score.
Blake Griffin, Reggie Jackson, Markieff Morris, and Luke Kennard did not play because of injury, and I only mention that as a reminder that the Pistons can hopefully lose a little more competitively in the not-too-distant future.
The first half was an early-2000s-esque slugfest on offense, with neither team managing to hit 45 points for the half. Andre Drummond walled off the paint in zone and man-to-man, as the Jazz repeatedly probed in the pick-and-roll, looking for answers. The second half began with the Pistons turning the ball over on six of their first seven possessions, keying a prompt 11-2 Jazz run. After two quarters where both teams fought like dogs to put up 20 points, 11 points was like a dam bursting, and the Pistons never recovered.
The Pistons are now 0-2 on their season-high six-game road trip, 10 games under .500, and have gone 2-8 in their last ten games. The road trip and the season continue Thursday against the Los Angeles Clippers.