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Pistons vs. Grizzlies final score: Detroit can’t dig out of big early hole, fall to Memphis

Marvin Bagley III unavailable and Cade Cunningham held out again

Memphis Grizzlies v Detroit Pistons Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The Memphis Grizzlies stormed out of the gate and quickly amassed a 24-point lead in the first quarter. The first quarter. That’s pretty much all you need to know about this one. The Pistons fought back periodically, even cutting it down to 10 in the third quarter, but they eventually slid back down and ended up falling 133-107.

The Pistons were playing short-handed without new addition Marvin Bagley III, whom they traded for on NBA Trade Deadline day in exchange for Trey Lyles, Josh Jackson and a couple second-round picks in a four-team deal.

The effort wasn’t in question, it was just the execution. And the Grizzles are really, really good. The Pistons provided little resistance at the rim, especially early, and on offense they hit just 7-of-35 3s. There were some individual bright spots, however.

Jerami Grant, fresh off of not being traded to a contending team, had his best game for Detroit in a while. He finished with 20 points, four rebounds, four assists and two blocks, and his shot looked smooth and confident. Grant was making quicker decisions, driving to the rim and trying to make the extra pass to open shooters.

Hamidou Diallo also continued his strong play with 17 points and 10 rebounds and continued to find ways to drive to the basket and use his leaping and finishing ability. Saddiq Bey also had 17 points and seven rebounds and looked comfortable executing in Detroit’s offense.

Memphis was just superior in every way. More stout defense, bigger, stronger, faster, shooting 48% from the floor and 53% from 3. Ja Morant had a game-high 23 points. Steven Adams proved to be way too big to handle for Detroit’s undersized big men scoring 16 points and adding 14 rebounds.

The Grizzlies’ aggressive, bruising style put the Pistons’ on their heels and a couple players in foul trouble. Killian Hayes struggled and fouled out in just 13 minutes. Isaiah Stewart earned some quick fouls and finished with five on the night. His double-digit rebounding streak ended against Adams and the Grizzlies. Beef Stew finished with 10 points and just two rebounds.

The Pistons will be able to dust themselves off quickly with a game tomorrow against the Charlotte Hornets. They are still expected to be without Bagley, but hopefully they’ll get Cunningham to suit up again and take the reins of the offense.