After needing a comeback win led by the bench to beat the Chicago Bulls on Friday, the Detroit Pistons’ starters came out and brutalized the Bulls Sunday afternoon, 131-108. Andre Drummond had his usual double-double (16 points, 15 rebounds), Blake Griffin scored 28 points in three quarters, and Reggie Jackson and Langston Galloway (six-for-six from three, has now made TWELVE straight three-pointers across three games) both scored 21 for Detroit.
The Pistons started slow, which you could forgive for two reasons:
- Who on God’s green earth schedules a noon ET tipoff the day Daylight Savings Time takes effect?
- They didn’t let the Bulls build a big lead during the slow period.
Reggie Jackson didn’t even get a proper warm-up in:
We're one minute away from the national anthem, and Reggie Jackson (thumb) has still not touched the court for warmups. Wouldn't be surprised if he's a last-second scratch. Find it hard to believe he plays without warming up, especially him. https://t.co/XxsKii9nNz— James Edwards III (@JLEdwardsIII) March 10, 2019
Luckily, Reggie played, and he and Wayne Ellington kept the Pistons ahead during the first half:
Then, in the third quarter, the Pistons ran a bunch of big-big pick-and-rolls at Lauri Markkanen (17 points, six rebounds) and Robin Lopez, with little resistance.
Stacey King is doing a great job on the broadcast pointing out how these Griffin-Drummond pick and rolls are killing the Bulls. The Pistons have run that action over and over, Bulls can't stop it.— Stephen Noh (@StephNoh) March 10, 2019
Blake scored 17 points in the third quarter alone, had some nice assists to Andre out of that action, and just generally pounded the Bulls until they gave way:
These short PnR's between Blake and Andre are so tough to defend. Drummond takes Selden out of the play so RoLo has to defend two. Shaq doesn't have time to step over to help pic.twitter.com/iZ7ChSTe5t— Will Gottlieb (@wontgottlieb) March 10, 2019
Detroit outscored Chicago 42-25 in the third quarter, and “school was out,” as George Blaha would say.
The biggest number for the Pistons, though, is 27 - that’s the number of minutes Blake played today, and he sat out the whole fourth quarter. With Detroit playing an important game for playoff position tomorrow against the Brooklyn Nets on the road, Blake’s light-ish workload today put the Pistons in better shape for tomorrow. Now, the Pistons can get on a plane, be in Brooklyn before 6 p.m., get a decent night’s rest (should they so chose), and hopefully beat up on the Nets Monday night.
Staying in the present, this win gives the Pistons a five-game winning streak for only the second time all season, and the first time in 2019. The Pistons are playing great, have firmly inserted themselves into the discussion for the no. 6 seed, and are threatening to make some real noise in the playoffs.