Detroit Pistons doomed by second half in New Orleans, 109-93, suffer 11th straight loss

Detroit Free Press

NEW ORLEANS — The Detroit Pistons haven’t had trouble building double-digit leads this week. But they’ve had a lot of trouble holding onto them

On Monday, the Oklahoma City Thunder outscored the Pistons 42-22 in the fourth quarter after trailing by 16 in the third quarter. On Wednesday, the Washington Wizards rallied from 14 down during the second quarter, taking a 13-point lead in the fourth before having to go to overtime for a win.

That trend continued on Friday. A thunderous dunk by Hamidou Diallo with 8:32 to play in the second gave the Pistons a 15-point lead over the New Orleans Pelicans, who have the worst record in the Western Conference. From there, things went downhill.

BEHIND THE MASK: Diallo, in one game, as smooth as Rip Hamilton

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The Pistons collapsed, falling to the Pelicans, 109-93, for their 11th consecutive loss. They were outscored 29-12 in the third quarter. Trey Lyles had one of his best performances of the season, with 18 points on 7-for-8 shooting coming off the bench. Cade Cunningham added 16 points. Brandon Ingram led all scorers with 26 points.

Pistons start hot, finish cold

Early in the game, it looked like the Pistons (4-21) were trending toward one of their best offensive performances this season. They shot 54.2% in the first quarter, knocking down 13 of 24 shot attempts and six of 13 3-pointers. Cunningham and Killian Hayes controlled the pace, dishing out seven of their nine total assists. The team committed just one turnover.

The Pelicans woke up toward the end of the second quarter. Brandon Ingram completed a 4-point play with 1:10 left in the half to cap a 14-3 run that briefly gave the Pelicans the lead, 54-53. Detroit carried a one-point lead into halftime, and then the offense went cold.

The Pistons shot 31% in the second half, and made fewer 3-pointers in the final two quarters combined (five) than they did in the first (six). Over the final 32:32, New Orleans outscored Detroit 81-50.

Grant tweaks thumb, re-enters game

Jerami Grant left the game toward the end of the first quarter, after he tweaked his right thumb after falling on the basketball to secure it. A trainer checked Grant’s hand on the bench, and he eventually returned with 4:19 left in the half.

It isn’t clear how much the injury affected Grant’s game, but he had an off-shooting night with 11 points on 5-for-14 shooting, including a 1-for-6 mark from behind the arc.

Contact Omari Sankofa II at Follow him on Twitter @omarisankofa. The Free Press has started a new digital subscription model. Here’s how you can gain access to our most exclusive Pistons content. Read more on the Detroit Pistons and sign up for our Pistons newsletter.

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