Detroit Pistons done in by turnovers in Cleveland in 122-107 loss to Cavaliers

Detroit Free Press

Omari Sankofa II
| Detroit Free Press

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Turnovers have been a recurring issue for the Detroit Pistons this season. They did them in again against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday. 

The Cavs defeated the Pistons, 122-107, dropping Detroit to a 4-14 record. The Pistons moved the ball well, with 29 assists on 27 made baskets, but also turned it over 22 times. The Pistons struggled to generate consistent momentum, and trailed by as many as 19, despite leading by eight in the second quarter. 

Jerami Grant scored a team-high 26 points, and Wayne Ellington scored 17 points while knocking down four 3-pointers. Collin Sexton led Cleveland with 29 points, and former Piston Andre Drummond had 23 points and 16 rebounds. 

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Jerami Grant owns a new Pistons record

Grant’s off to a historic offensive start: He recently scored at least 20 points in 14 consecutive games, the fifth-longest streak in franchise history. After finishing Wednesday’s game with 26 points, he has now reached the threshold in 16 of his 18 games this season, one shy of tying the franchise record set by Dave Bing and George Yardley. 

Grant has also now hit at least two 3-pointers in 17 straight games, breaking Jerry Stackhouse’s record originally set by Jerry Stackhouse.

Pistons struggle with turnovers again

Not long ago, the Pistons were among the NBA’s better teams at taking care of the ball. After their upset win over the Miami Heat on Jan. 16, they were eighth best, committing 13.7 turnovers per game. 

Early season stats can be misleading, though, and the Pistons have since been turning the ball over much more. They entered Wednesday averaging 17 turnovers a game over their past three contests. That trend continued against the Cavaliers, with 22 turnovers for the Pistons. Many of them were unforced, and it helped Cleveland turn a competitive game into a blowout in the fourth quarter. The Cavaliers scored 30 points off of turnovers. 

Detroit used a 16-4 run to take the lead in the second quarter, but Cleveland cut the deficit to two by halftime. The Pistons then had turnovers on three of their first four second-half possessions, leading to Dwane Casey calling a timeout 91 seconds into the third quarter. Two of the turnovers were travels, and the Pistons generally struggled with mistimed passes and drops throughout the night. Mason Plumlee had seven turnovers, but generally had a solid night, with 15 points, 12 rebounds and three assists. 

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Pistons cold from outside after hot start

It initially appeared the Pistons up for a good night from behind the arc. They started the game 3-for-3 from outside, with Grant, Ellington and Saddiq Bey connecting from deep to build an early 12-8 lead. The Pistons then missed their next seven attempts and 11 of 13 before hitting a 6-for-10 run to finish at  40-7% on the night.

Ellington’s 3-point shot has become automatic in the last week and a half, and he hit four of his eight attempts — extending his franchise-record for games with at least four 3-pointers to six. Grant hit both of his attempts, and Rose shot 2-for-3 from outside. The rest of the roster shot 3-for-13 from outside.

Contact Omari Sankofa II at Follow him on Twitter @omarisankofa. Read more on the Detroit Pistons and sign up for our Pistons newsletter.

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