A horrible first quarter, a vintage Carmelo Anthony game and a blown lead equaled another Detroit Pistons loss, 107-104, this time at the hands on the Portland Trail Blazers. Anthony scored 30 points including a late jumper to put the game away for the Blazers.
The loss is Detroit’s sixth straight and first on a four-game west-coast swing.
As the losses have piled up, it’s difficult to say this game was exciting, but the Pistons competed hard .... after spotting Portland 19 points in the first quarter.
The Pistons had almost been tripled up 30-11 with 4:10 remaining after a Gary Trent Jr dunk. It looked like it was going to be another laugher at the expense of the Pistons. Somehow, though, Detroit, powered by its bench, fought back and even took a lead in the second quarter.
By halftime it was 53-51 in favor of Portland and we had a game on our hands. Detroit was led by Brandon Knight (13 points) and Christian Wood (11 points) in that first-half comeback. Rookie Sekou Doumbouya, who was born three years prior to Carmelo Anthony’s NBA debut, managed to be -23 in the first half with his team facing a two-point deficit. Thon Maker wasn’t much better at -18.
Detroit kept up the pressure in the second half with some quality defense from Bruce Brown and offensive contributions from everyone, almost literally. Every single Piston save for Tony Snell scored in the third quarter.
It was a back and forth affair throughout the second half and somehow Detroit managed to find themselves with a 95-86 lead with just under eight minutes remaining but then the Blazers got serious and decided it was winning time.
CJ McCollum quickly scored seven points as part of a 15-2 run. McCollum, leading the offense in Damian Lillard’s absence, notched 41 points, 12 assists and nine rebounds. Anthony added 32 points on 11-of-16 shooting. It was Anthony’s highest scoring game since almost exactly three years ago when he scored 37 points as a member of the New York Knicks.
The Pistons were led by Christian Wood, a theme we might be seeing repeat itself in the season’s final stretch. Wood, coming off the bench as a power forward, played just over 30 minutes, scored a team-high 26 points and took the most shots other than Derrick Rose. Wood added nine rebounds and two blocks.
There was also this Bruce Brown highlight. Enjoy it!