The Pistons and Rockets squared off for a random Saturday matinee game. The reason for the random matinee game is because this is the first time in the history of Little Caesars Arena that both the Pistons and Red Wings played in the same day.
The Rockets play fast, and the Pistons wanted to match that pace early, but neither team put in much effort on the defensive end. Eric Gordon started off scorching for the Rockets with 8 points in the first three and a half minutes. Headband Saddiq Bey picked up where he left off against Indiana with 7 points in the first four minutes.
Cade Cunninghanm was interestingly subbed out at the 5:30 mark of the 1st quarter despite only having 1 foul. He wasn’t really playing poorly or anything. Dwane Casey probably just wanted to try out a different look instead of the usual whole 1st quarter like Cunningham usually plays.
The rest of the 1st quarter was relatively back-and-forth as both teams were making their shots, which combined with the poor defense meant a high-scoring 1st quarter. Houston led 38-30 at the conclusion of the 1st quarter.
Another Houston veteran the Pistons didn’t have an answer for to start the 2nd quarter was former Piston DJ Augustin. He had 7 points in his first 4 minutes as the Rockets started to build a lead in the 2nd quarter. The Pistons tightened up their defense a bit as the quarter went on, but Houston kept making their shots and the Pistons stopped making their shots.
The Pistons would trail 62-49 at halftime. Saddiq Bey led the Pistons in scoring with 9 and Eric Gordon had 12 for the Rockets. Former Piston Christian Wood struggled a bit with Isaiah Stewart’s strength, but was still able to put up some numbers, as he had 11. However, a lot of his points came when Stewart wasn’t in the game.
The Pistons started the 3rd quarter with more energy and a mini 9-3 spark. It looked like the Pistons might be getting things back on track as they continued with the improved effort on the defensive end they concluded the half with and started to make their shots. However, it was short-lived as the Rockets responded back with a run of their own and got their lead back to 12 at the midway point of the 3rd.
The Pistons were able to hang around a bit throughout the quarter, but some bad rebounding and some bad turnovers at the end of the quarter prevented the Pistons from getting any closer than the 7 points they were down by at one point.
The Pistons lack of size is becoming a problem, but there isn’t a whole lot they can do about it right now, they simply do not have a lot of size on this roster. It didn’t help that Isaiah Stewart was limited to 17 minutes through 3 quarters due to foul trouble.
The Pistons would trail 88-75 heading into the 4th quarter
Cade Cunningham injured his foot early in the 3rd quarter and played through it, but he headed to the locker room with about 2 minutes left in the quarter, but he did return with a different pair of shoes in the 4th quarter.
The Pistons deployed Luka Garza to start the 4th to try to get some size out there, and it helped, mostly offensively. His 9 points helped the Pistons make a bit of a run in the 4th, but the early 20 point deficit the Pistons created to start the 4th was too much to overcome. Rockets would win 116-107
Killian Hayes had a solid game with 8 points, 10 assists, and 4 rebounds. Cade Cunningham had 21 points, 11 assists, and 7 rebounds. Saddiq Bey had 23 points and was once again efficient shooting the ball.
Christian Wood led the Rockets with 21 points.
The Pistons will try to end their now 14 game losing streak against the Miami Heat tomorrow. Everything is going wrong for the Pistons right now, and their schedule doesn’t get any easier.