Even by the low standards of the NBA-worst Detroit Pistons this season, tonight’s 142-131 overtime loss is inexplicable. Detroit was up 126-112 with just 3:34 remaining after an and-one from Isaiah Stewart.
The team had double-digit contributions from all eight players who saw more than 10 minutes of action. Clippers coach Tyronn Lue even pulled his starters as he was thinking ahead to another Los Angeles road game against the Raptors tomorrow. Then everything fell apart.
Sloppy turnovers, no-pass possessions, and terrible looks at the rim all combined for an epic Detroit collapse. To close out regulation, the Pistons scored two points from the free-throw line while missing two other shots at the charity stripe that would have iced the game. They had three turnovers, nine missed shots and gave up a 16-2 run that forced the game into overtime.
Then overtime was only more of the same but worse and more depressing. A Paul George driving layup and-one gave the Clippers an early three-point lead. The Pistons answered right back with an Alec Burks three to tie the game. Those were the only Pistons points of overtime. They had three more turnovers and zero additional baskets.
Add it all up and the Pistons were on the receiving end of a 30-5 run in just 8:34 seconds of game action. It went from a great bounceback game after a huge disappointment in Atlanta to maybe the worst loss of the season.
The locker room is probably a gloomy place, and I’ll be interested if anyone feels like there are answers for anything happening on the floor. The defense remains in absolute shambles as rotations are late or non-existent, help defense comes late or guys rotate when they should be sticking to their man. And the late-game offense remains a team full of zero skilled isolation players attempting to salvage the game by putting the team on their back and creating zero quality looks.
It’s a sad state of affairs in Detroit.
For the stat-minded among you, I’ll note that Isaiah Stewart had 21 points on 8-of-10 shooting, hit 3-of-4 from deep and looks increasingly comfortable executing action on the perimeter. Killian Hayes struggled with his two-point looks tonight but finished with 18 points, hit four threes, and had 10 assists. Jalen Duren continues to solidify the center slot, offensively at least, with several nice passes out of rebounds or in the short roll. He finished with a 15-point, 12-rebound double-double. The Pistons even got some good minutes from Hamidou Diallo with 12 points, though there was some defensive blunders per usual.
The Clippers were led by Paul George with 32 points.
Just horrific execution on the defensive end all night and they matched the awful defense with awful offense in crunch time. That’s all I’ve got for you tonight