Pistons hit speed bump on West Coast trip, slowed down by Blazers in 118-103 loss

Detroit News

To some degree, the Pistons’ western road trip already is a success, with two victories over the Oklahoma City Thunder and Sacramento Kings. One more win would give them a winning record in a difficult stretch of games.

It didn’t come against the Portland Trail Blazers.

Enes Kanter had a historic night and as usual, the backcourt carried the Blazers to a 118-103 victory over the Pistons on Saturday night at Moda Center.

Kanter had 24 points and a franchise-record 30 rebounds, Damian Lillard 27 points and 10 assists and C.J. McCollum 26 points and four rebounds for the Blazers (31-21).

Kanter, who had 12 offensive rebounds, also set a career high, becoming the first player in the NBA with at least 30 rebounds since Dwight Howard in 2018.

The Pistons (16-37) had trouble keeping up on the boards and in defending the Blazers’ potent backcourt. Cory Joseph and Dennis Smith Jr., who were the starting backcourt for the second straight game, combined for just eight points on 3-of-12 shooting.

For the second straight game, the Pistons were without leading scorer Jerami Grant, who sat out because of knee soreness. Josh Jackson (21 points) picked up the scoring load and found his shooting stroke, going 5-of-6 on 3-pointers.

Pistons at Clippers

Tipoff: 10 Sunday, Staples Center, Los Angeles

TV/radio: BSD/97.1

Outlook: The Clippers (36-18) are two games out of the No. 2 spot in the West and have surged with four straight wins. The Pistons (16-37) finish their five-game western road trip after splitting the first four.

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