It’s been the same story all season for the Detroit Pistons — they can’t hit shots.
That story continued Tuesday, as a shorthanded Milwaukee Bucks team came to Little Caesars Arena and handed the Pistons their worst loss of the year yet.
Jrue Holiday, Khris Middleton and Brook Lopez were in street clothes, but the Pistons couldn’t capitalize on Milwaukee’s injury woes and lost, 117-89, on their home floor. The Pistons, who have struggled to hit 3-pointers, shot a season-worst 17% (8-for-47) from 3.
Jerami Grant had his most efficient night of the season, finishing with 21 points on 61.4% shooting. Trey Lyles (13 points) was the only other Piston to crack double digits. Giannis Antetokounmpo led all scorers with 28 points and added nine assists and eight rebounds.
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Jerami Grant has season-best performance
On a(nother) night where the Pistons couldn’t get a bucket to fall, Grant was the lone bright spot. He had his best scoring night of the season, cracking the 20-point threshold for only the second time this season.
He got it going early, knocking down consecutive 3-pointers within the first two minutes of the game to get Detroit on the board. Grant provided half of Detroit’s points in the first quarter, scoring 10 on 4-for-5 overall shooting and 2-for-3 shooting from 3. By the end of the third quarter, he had 21 points on 8-for-13 overall shooting and was 4-of-5 from 3. The rest of the team combined to shoot 3-for-28 from 3.
Entering Tuesday, Grant was averaging 16 points per game but was shooting just 35.5% from the field and 25% from 3. Part of his shooting woes could be chalked up to a nagging elbow injury that caused him to sit out of last Monday’s game against the Atlanta Hawks and appeared to be bothering him last Wednesday in Philadelphia. But the Pistons, as a whole, haven’t shot the ball much better. Through the first six games, Detroit was shooting just 28.9% from 3 — the worst mark in the NBA.
Despite the final tally, the loss against the Bucks would’ve been much uglier if Grant hadn’t refound his shooting touch.
Cade Cunningham returns, but still rusty
The Pistons anticipated that Cunningham would play his second NBA game Tuesday after sitting out of Sunday’s road game in Brooklyn on the second half of a weekend back-to-back. His minutes restriction appears to be gone, as well. After playing 19 minutes last Saturday, he logged 29 minutes against Milwaukee.
He appears to still be working through some rust after missing nearly a month of five-on-five action with an ankle sprain. After knocking down just one of his eight shot attempts against the Orlando Magic, Cunningham went 2-for-14 overall Tuesday and missed all nine of his 3-point attempts.
There were good moments. He found Grant with a behind-the-back pass for an early 3-pointer and dished two other assists. His first bucket was a long 2-pointer in the first quarter, and he scored Detroit’s first post-halftime bucket with a transition floater.
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