On the second night of a back to back, Golden State decided to rest key players; Steph Curry, Draymond Green, Otto Porter and Andre Igoudala. For those who bought tickets to this game, I feel for you. However, without their MVP candidate and defensive anchor, the Warriors were fielding a very beatable line-up for the 4-10 Detroit Pistons.
The game began in typical fashion for this Pistons roster, missed shots and turnovers. The first 6 minutes of the quarter were all warriors, Jordan Poole hit his first two threes and Andrew Wiggins was able to get to his spots, providing the Warriors an early 17-4 advantage. Detroit opened the night missing 10 of their first 11 shots and looked completely disjointed on the offensive end, playing into the Jekyll and Hyde narrative of this teams up and down play.
Two early fouls on Killian Hayes forced Dwane Casey to insert Cory Joseph. Joseph provided immediate rim penetration, resulting in a pair of back to back threes for Grant and Cunningham. The next possession down Cunningham was able to exploit a mismatch and finish in the paint, capping a Piston 8-0 run.
The Pistons were able to close the first quarter on a 19-9 run, trailing the Warriors 26-23. Frank Jackson was also key with 7 points in the quarter, Poole and Wiggins combined for 19 of the visiting teams first quarter points.
Frank Jackson continued his hot shooting, opening the second with a pair of threes to tie the game up at 34 a piece. However, a Warriors bench unit with Wiggins would immediately hit back with an 8-2 run, forcing a Detroit time-out with the home team trailing 42-36. Cade Cunningham put together his own 9-0 run coming out of the time out, giving the Pistons a 3 point advantage:
Jordan Poole would continue his strong play, helping the Warriors close the quarter strongly with a 56-51 lead. Poole played his best half of the young season, scoring 22 points on an array of rim attacks and outside shots. Jonathan Kuminga also had a nice stretch off the bench, contributing 8 points.
Detroit opened the second half with a great defensive possession, forcing Golden State into a shot clock violation. However, a minute late Isaiah Stewart appeared to sprain his right ankle beneath the basket, exiting the game with the scores at 56-53 in favour of the road team.
With Stewart out of the game, the Warriors were able to capitalise on the lack of rim protection. Andrew Wiggins continued his strong play, adding 10 points in the quarter by getting to the rim at will. Golden State would extend the lead to 16 behind fluid ball movement and great shot selection.
The Pistons quarter was summed up by a bricked Kuminga three that Diallo was unable to rebound, coming off his foot into the hands of Warriors guard, Chris Chiozza, who drilled a three. The Warriors would head into the fourth with a 16-point lead, 86-70.
The Pistons opened the final term with a strong take to the basket from Frank Jackson, Jackson and Diallo would put together a 6-0 run on the back of some impressive individual defense and rim attacks. The Warriors would respond and push the lead back out 14, both Wiggins and Poole alternated buckets, getting into the paint at will.
Halfway through the fourth. with Stewart out and Garza struggling, Coach Casey inserted a small ball line-up featuring Jerami Grant at the center position, with Hayes, Cunningham, Jackson and Bey flanking Grant. While this line-up struggled initially, once Joseph replaced the injured Hayes, they were able to close the gap to 6 points with 2:30 remaining behind the continued hot shooting of Frank Jackson and rim penetration from Joseph.
Trailing 104-98, with 1:45 remaining in the game, Cade Cunningham would come up clutch defensively, locking down Joran Poole and drawing the foul. Cunningham would convert both free throws to draw his team within 4 points.
The next trip down the floor, Andrew Wiggins would draw a questionable shooting foul on Saddiq Bey, Wiggins would split the pair resulting in a 105-100 lead to Golden State. Jerami Grant would get to the line on the following possession, converting both foul shots and pegging the defect back to a single possession, 105-102.
Once again, Cade Cunningham would provide a pivotal defensive play, with a block on Wiggins out of a Warrior’s time out, providing the Pistons with a chance to tie the game.
On the final possession, Saddiq Bey drove to the bucket and kicked it out to Jerami Grant for the wide open three, Grant missed but, the Pistons were able to corral the miss and find Frank Jackson whose three point attempt, cruelly rolled in and out, resulting in a loss to the Golden State Warriors 105-102.
There will be plenty of discussion between now and Sunday’s game as to whether or not Cunningham should of taken the final shot. However, the Piston’s were able to get two pretty decent looks to tie the game, one of which was from the hot hand of Frank Jackson.
The now, 4-11 Piston’s will host the volatile Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday night in game 4 of a 5 game home stand.
- Hamidou Diallo provided a spark off the bench tonight, adding 10 points and solid defense, moving one step further out of Dwane Casey’s ‘dog house’.
- Josh Jackson with another DNP-CD, is there something going on behind the scenes we don’t know about?
- Killian Hayes aggravated his left hand injury in the fourth quarter, he appeared in significant pain on the bench, we could see him miss some time.
- Isaiah Stewart’s injury status changed from ‘out’ to ‘questionable’ during the fourth quarter, hopefully the injury isn’t as bad as first thought.
- Frank Jackson had easily his best game of the season scoring 27 points and being the catalyst to the Detroit comeback.