The Wolves jumped out early and eventually extended their lead to 16 over the Pistons in half number one. However, Ish Smith and Luke Kennard ignited a second-quarter rally and got Detroit right back into it by half, trailing 64-60.
The third quarter was back and forth, and then the fourth quarter happened — and I’m not sure Detroit missed more than three shots the entire quarter. The Pistons cruised easily to a 41-point final frame, beating the Wolves (for the eighth straight time) 131-114.
Detroit has now won 10 of 12 and are now over the .500 mark at 32-31 for what feels like the first time since we were all born.
The Pistons bench, led by Kennard’s 21 and Smith’s 19 (8-of-10 shooting), scored 70 points total.
First half observations (while I was doing 10 other things)
Taj Gibson was on fire, which I didn’t think was actually possible. Seems Taj has been in the league since the 90s. I checked, Taj is only 33.
Jeff Teague annoys me for some reason. It’s been years that I’ve thought this. It bugs me that I don’t know what it is that bugs me about him. Nothing against the guy, it’s just an on-court thing. He’s a solid player, but just seems like he goes through the motions. But I know he’s not.
Ish just being Ish:
Ish Smith with the behind the back crossover! pic.twitter.com/OJ2rHKZDir— Martin (@ImMartinHi) March 7, 2019
3rd quarter observations
Fantastic left handed block by Andre on Dario Saric. Then Andre bullied him on offense two straight possessions for buckets.
Bruce Brown is really aggravating the Wolves. An extra push here, a swipe at the ball after the play is over there. BRUUCCEEE!
Drummond is literally doing everything right (then promptly misses two free throws just after I wrote that). Overall, Dre’s touch tonight is softer than a baby’s tush.
Karl-Anthony Towns has a punchable face. Very punchable. Talented player, but his face is punchable. The most punchable (almost).
The Pistons will win the game, I feel it. Pistons up 87-82 with over 13 minutes left.
The Wolves were on a 6-0 run before Glenn Robinson III hit a three. Yes, Glenn Robinson III hit a three. A corner three. The Pistons will win this game.
Through three quarters, Pistons up 90-88.
Ish Smith doing Ish things again. He found Robinson III for a dunk. Robinson has 7 points. The Pistons will win th—.
In a flash, Taj Gibson was ejected for an elbow to the grill of Drummond and the Pistons hit a bunch of shots and find themselves up 20 with over seven minutes left. Time to sit Griffin and Drummond. Well, pretty close anyway.
Jimmy Butler was/is right about Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins. I think we all knew he was pretty much right about them.
Pistons up 25 with over six minutes left. GET BLAKE AND DRE AND LUKE AND ISH OUT OF THE GAME.
Anthony Tolliver deserves to be on a decent NBA basketball team.
The Wolves broadcasters are talking about how no team wants to face the Pistons in the first round. I feel it’s easy to fall back and talk about that topic if a lower seeded team is playing good basketball at the right time. If this were the last week of the season, I’d feel more confident about it all.
Andre Drummond finished with 31 points, 18 rebounds, two blocks and one banked-in trey.
Blake Griffin played just 30 minutes, dished out seven assists and turned the ball over exactly zero times.
The Pistons are in Chicago on Friday for an 8pm tip.