Detroit Pistons snipped by sharp-shooting Portland Trail Blazers, 124-101

Detroit Free Press

The Detroit Pistons couldn’t keep up with the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday, falling to the Western Conference contender at Little Caesars Arena, 124-101.

The difference for the Blazers came at the 3-point line and the free throw line. They made 16 of their 30 3-point attempts and 24 of their 26 shots at the line. The Pistons were 9-for-27 from 3 and 12-for-17 at the line, respectively.

Jerami Grant led the Pistons (13-34) with 30 points and three blocks, and Hamidou Diallo added 19 points and seven rebounds. Portland’s Damian Lillard led all scorers with 33 points and 10 assists, while CJ McCollum added 24 points fior the Blazers.

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Diallo acclimating himself quickly

If Monday’s win over the Raptors was a breakout game for Diallo, Wednesday showed his ability to impact the game in all areas was no fluke.

Diallo left Kentucky with a reputation as a hyper-athletic wing, and he wields his athleticism in a variety of ways. He floats when he jumps, has a quick first step and knows how to shift gears to create looks for himself and his teammates. He’s always in attack mode and takes off with the ball after grabbing the defensive rebound. The energy picks up for the Pistons whenever he checks in.

Saddiq Bey picked up two early fouls, clearing the way for Diallo to enter the game two minutes into the first quarter. He got on the board with a layup a minute later, and hit a deep 3-pointer in front of the Pistons’ logo midway through the quarter.

His best stretch came in the third quarter, when he drove and found Plumlee for a dunk, hit a 3-pointer and finished a 3-point play in a two-minute span. After waiting two weeks to make his debut with the Pistons, he has quickly acclimated; he was the Pistons’ second-best player for the second game in a row.

Grant bounces back, makes two-way impact

The first quarter was a block party for Grant. He swatted the opening shot of the game — a Norman Powell corner 3-pointer — and followed that by redirecting a Liillard midrange shot and a McCollum layup before the eight-minute mark of the quarter.

It preceded a strong offensive night as well. He cleared the 30-point threshold for the first time since March 11 and made 11 of his 19 shot attempts, including three of five 3-pointers. It was a good bounce-back game for Grant after single-digit scoring nights on Friday and Monday, his first in consecutive games this season.

Stewart continues emergence as 3-point threat

As the season has progressed, Stewart has become more comfortable taking 3-pointers. He’s nearing the point where opposing centers should consider closing out on him, because he has been on a strong run during the last two weeks.

Stewart made two of his four 3-point attempts on Monday, bringing him to 9-for18 in his last 11 games.

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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