Golden State ‘Lite’ was more than enough to beat the Detroit Pistons’ ‘Regular.’
The depleted Warriors played without the league’s leading scorer, Stephen Curry, and Draymond Green, among others and still edged the Pistons 105-102 on Friday. Former Michigan standout Jordan Poole had a season-high 32 points for Golden State (14-2), which possesses the league’s best record.
Frank Jackson led the Pistons (4-11) with a season-high 27 points. The Pistons trailed by 16 in the fourth quarter but rallied to pull with three in the final minute. Jerami Grant and Jackson missed potential tying 3-point attempts before the buzzer sounded.
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Cunningham goes quiet after break
Cade Cunningham scored 13 points in the first half but finished with 19 points. His first 3-pointer of the game ended a string of 10 Pistons misfires.
He picked up his second foul with 3:42 remaining in the second quarter but returned in the second and scored eight points, including a pair of 3-pointers.
Cunningham didn’t score in the third while taking only one shot, as the Pistons fell behind by 16 points. Cunningham’s final points came on free throws with 1:43 left.
Stewart injures ankle, exits early
The sight of Isaiah Stewart writhing in pain underneath the basket was the last thing the Pistons needed to see.
They lost their best frontcourt reserve for an extended period last week when Kelly Olynyk suffered a knee injury in Houston. He’s out for at least six weeks.
Stewart rolled his right ankle during the opening minute of the second half contesting a Kevon Looney layup attempt. He needed assistance to make it back to the locker room but soon returned to the bench.
Stewart had his ankle wrapped in ice and was a spectator the rest of the way.
Frank Jackson delivers season best
Cory Joseph provided a big spark off the bench for the Pistons on Wednesday, scoring a season-high 18 points against Indiana in an eight-point victory.
Jackson grabbed that role on Friday, reaching his season high by halftime. The Pistons trailed by 13 when he entered the contest midway through the first quarter and quickly scored seven points.
He dropped in nine points in the second quarter, all on 3-pointers. The last of those outside makes came on a corner shot off a Cunningham feed.
He heated up again in the fourth. He tossed in a 3-pointer with 8:50 left to cut the Warriors’ advantage to eight points, 91-83. His free throws with 2:33 left whittled Golden State’s advantage to six. But his final shot attempt didn’t fall.
Jackson had quietly increased his production in recent outings, averaging 11.3 points over the last four games.
Contusions sideline Warriors’ stars
Fans who bought tickets to see the Warriors’ stars were disappointed.
Curry, who scored 20 of his 40 points against Cleveland in the fourth quarter, sat out due to a left hip contusion. He collided with Brooklyn’s James Harden on Tuesday while trying to draw an offensive foul and said after Thursday’s game “that charge really messed with me a little bit.”
A right thigh contusion was the reason Green, the former Michigan State star, didn’t suit up. Andre Iguodala (right knee soreness) and Otto Porter Jr. (left foot injury management) also took the night off. Klay Thompson (Achilles) and James Wiseman (knee) haven’t played this season as they continue to rehab from long-term injuries.
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