| Detroit Free Press
Pistons’ Svi Mykhailiuk after big 2nd half: ‘All I care about is winning’
Svi Mykhailiuk had 15 points in 15 minutes, all in second half, but said “all I care about is winning” after Pistons’ loss to Celtics, Jan. 3, 2021.
The odds were stacked against the Detroit Pistons on Monday. They were down two starters in Blake Griffin and Josh Jackson. They were playing the second night of a home-road back-to-back. And they were playing the Milwaukee Bucks, the Eastern Conference’s best team last season.
The Pistons lost to the Bucks, 125-115, but received strong performances from Jerami Grant (24 points, three blocks) and Derrick Rose (24 points off of the bench), and trimmed an 18-point deficit to eight in the final three minutes of the night.
The Pistons (1-6) have lost 12 straight to the Bucks including the postseason, with their last win coming Feb. 28, 2018.
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Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 30 points in the first half and finished with 43 for the Bucks (4-3).
Killian Hayes injures right hip, leaves game
The biggest story from Monday’s game is Hayes’ right hip injury. It’s possible that, similar to his ankle injury last Tuesday, Hayes is fine and will miss minimal, if any, time. But noncontact injuries are always worrying, and it’ll be something to monitor.
Less than two minutes into the second half, Hayes turned the ball over and lost his balance while running back on defense to contest a Jrue Holiday layup attempt. Before he hit the floor, he winced in pain and began grabbing his right hip area. The Pistons later announced that he would not return to the game.
Hayes finished the game with seven points, an assist and three turnovers. He showed flashes of growing confidence scoring the ball. He hit a catch-and-shoot 3-pointer and two floaters in the lane. He’s gotten to his floater often this season, but he hasn’t been able to consistently hit it.
His first half provided a blueprint for him to build on once he returns.
Rose has best performance of season
With Hayes missing most of the second half, Rose delivered his best game of the year. He tallied 24 points on 9-for-18 shooting and eight assists, both season highs.
Rose had a slow start to the season, but he’s been getting better. Two of his best performances have come in his last three games. It was a typical good Derrick Rose game that featured some tough finishes from midrange and at the rim. He was a key reason why the Pistons managed to stay within striking distance for much of the night, despite being undermanned and playing the second night of a back-to-back.
Grant shakes off poor start
Entering Monday, Grant averaged 22.8 points, 5.7 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.2 blocks per game. National opinion was split, to say the least, on Troy Weaver’s decision to sign Grant to a three-year, $60 million contract after a strong season as a role player with the Denver Nuggets.
He’s living up to the challenge, and then some. He scored at least 20 points for the sixth consecutive game on Monday, and is proving that he can thrive as a lead option.
Grant got off to a shaky start against the Bucks, picking up two fouls and subbing out of the game at the 10:10 mark of the first quarter. He re-entered the game at the beginning of the second quarter, and picked up where he left off on Sunday.
Contact Omari Sankofa II at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @omarisankofa. The Free Press has started a new digital subscription model.