The Detroit Pistons got everything they asked for except the win against the Indiana Pacers. The two teams traded blows courtesy of spurts of explosive offense by both sides. The Pacers outlasted the Pistons 116-111, but Detroit had plenty to be happy about.
Wayne Ellington played for the first time in five games and was nearly perfect from the floor. Ellington showed contending teams around the league that he could contribute offensively. He scored 16 points on 6-of-7 shooting including four 3s.
The Pistons also got contributions from rookies Isaiah Stewart and Saddiq Bey, who scored 11 and 16 points, respectively. They even caused a few eyeball emojis courtesy of an alley oop dunk for 10-day big man Tyler Cook.
Jerami Grant also looked more comfortable than he has lately, and pretty effortlessly scored 29 points on 10-of-20 shooting.
Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough to stop Malcolm Brogdon early, Edmond Sumner late or Caris LeVert at any point in the game. LeVert had 28 points including a backbreaking 3-pointer with 4.7 seconds left to put the Pacers up five.
The Pistons were able to give themselves a chance when Justin Holiday fouled Jerami Grant on a 3-point attempt with 1.6 seconds left. Jerami missed the first free throw but hit the next two.
Detroit was forced to foul and two Domantas Sabonis free throws put the game out of reach. Sabonis finished with 14 points, 11 rebounds and four assists.
We also should mention the play of Edmond Sumner who really won the game for Indy when the Pistons made a final push in the fourth quarter and actually found themselves tied 92-92.
Sumner then scored Indiana’s next 10 points and assisted on the next two and Indiana found themselves leading 106-100. Detroit just didn’t have enough left in the tank to make another run and take the game.
This is the last game before the trade deadline. Let’s see what this team looks like after tomorrow.