SAN FRANCISCO — Since the calendar turned to 2022, the Detroit Pistons have played some of their best games of the season. Tuesday was not one of them.
The Pistons fell to the Golden State Warriors, 102-86. They trailed by as many as 34, but narrowed the final score in the second half with most of Golden State’s starters on the bench.
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Rodney McGruder (19 points) and Isaiah Stewart (14 points, 11 rebounds) were two of Detroit’s few bright spots. They shot a combined 14-20 overall, meanwhile the rest of the team shot 16-for-65 (24.6%) overall. Klay Thompson led all scorers with 21 points, Andrew Wiggins scored 19 and Steph Curry added 18 points and eight assists.
The Warriors put the game away in the second quarter, outscoring Detroit by a 33-16 margin. The Pistons trailed by 11 after the first quarter, but struggled with Golden State’s off-ball movement.
Stewart, McGruder energy on lifeless night
Stewart scored Detroit’s first points of the game with flair, finishing a Euro step layup in transition.Minutes later, he received the ball at the top of the key and kept it, using a Cunningham screen to get to the rim.
They weren’t shots that are part of Stewart’s usual diet, but it foretold what type of night the big man was in store for. Stewart was Detroit’s most energetic player, and got his fourth double-double on a night the Pistons couldn’t get anything going on offense. He also scored on a tip-in, hook, and finished a lob from Cunningham in 23 minutes of action. If the Pistons weren’t already down 20 points midway through the second quarter, he might’ve played enough minutes to top his career-high of 20 points.
McGruder, who was nearly traded last week before the Pistons voided their deal in place with the Denver Nuggets for Bol Bol, also delivered one of the best offensive nights of his career in his first game since the trade was initiated. His 19 points were a season-high, three short of his career-high of 22. He did it in just 22 minutes, making seven of his 10 attempts overall and four of his seven 3-point attempts.
Killian Hayes leaves game with injury
With 6:24 to play in the second quarter, Hayes lost his balance on a drive to the rim and made contact with a camera person sitting underneath the basket. He winced in pain as he got up, and subbed out of the game with 5:40 on the clock. The Pistons later confirmed that he suffered a right hip contusion.
Hayes has already missed 10 games this season due to a left thumb sprain, illness and health and safety protocols. The Pistons play the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday, and have two more games on their Western Conference road swing before returning home next Monday.
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