Detroit Pistons done in by Chicago Bulls’ surge in second half, lose at home, 100-86

Detroit Free Press

Facing an opportunity to win three straight games for the first time since the 2018-19 season, the Detroit Pistons came out strong on Sunday. They led by as many as eight points in the first half, behind a quick start by Jerami Grant.

Unfortunately, the Chicago Bulls surged in the third quarter to defeat the Pistons, 100-86, at Little Caesars Arena. Chicago outscored the Pistons 29-20 in the period, and led by as many as 20 points in the fourth quarter.

Grant led all scorers with 26 points, and Mason Plumlee added a double-double with 12 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks. Frank Jackson scored 12 points, and Isaiah Stewart added 11 points, six rebounds and two blocks.

The Pistons shot just 39% overall and made four of their 25 3-point attempts (16%). Zach LaVine led the Bulls with 18 points.

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Shooting woes doom Pistons

At the end of the third quarter, two of the Pistons’ best scorers, Saddiq Bey and Josh Jackson, were a combined 0-16 from the floor. The rest of the roster, other than Grant and Stewart, didn’t fare much better.

Without Svi Mykhailiuk and Wayne Ellington, who missed his fourth straight game with an elbow injury, the Pistons can’t afford many off nights from their other shooters. Grant and Bey were a combined 1-11 from 3 on the night, and the other makes from outside came from Frank Jackson, Stewart and Bey at the buzzer.

Barring any further trades, there doesn’t appear to be an immediate fix for Detroit’s spacing issues, barring internal improvement. Frank Jackson has made positive strides as a shooter this season and knocked down all five of his 3-point attempts on Friday against the Houston Rockets. He was 1-for-4 from long range Sunday.

Isaiah Stewart, doing it all

It felt like Stewart was in store for a strong night not long after he checked in at the 4:07 mark of the first quarter. His first bucket was a midrange jumper, and he forced Wendell Carter Jr. to miss a layup on the following Bulls possession. Josh Jackson then found Stewart for a layup on the ensuing Pistons possession, driving to the rim and hitting him while cutting to the rim.

Stewart continued his emergence as a 3-point shooter, knocking one down early in the second quarter for the Pistons’ first three points of the period. He’s now 5-for-8 from behind the arc in his last six games, after going 1-for-5 from 3 in his previous 36 games combined.

The Pistons moved Stewart to power forward midway through the fourth quarter, playing him alongside Plumlee. The game was already out of hand by that point, and the coaching staff believes Stewart can spend significant time at the four as soon as halfway through next season. His development as a 3-point shooter will be critical for him to make the transition. While his recent run of shooting success has been a welcome surprise, he’ll likely need to take and make 3’s at a higher volume to make the transition to power forward full time.

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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