Observations: Pistons trade offense for defense in loss to Clippers

Detroit News

Los Angeles — The Pistons have lost five consecutive games for the second time this season after a 96-91 loss to the LA Clippers on Thursday.

Thursday’s loss was the first defeat to a Western Conference opponent after two wins over the Golden State Warriors and Oklahoma City Thunder. Detroit is now 0-8 on the road this season.

Bojan Bogdanovic scored a team-high 26 points, but it wasn’t enough as the next highest Pistons scorer was Jaden Ivey with 18.

More:BOX SCORE: Clippers 96, Pistons 91

Here are a few observations from another unfortunate loss for the Pistons (3-13):

Pistons step up on defense, but offense falters: The Pistons held the Clippers to 15 points in the first quarter. They forced nine turnovers in the first half. However, their lack of offensive production allowed the Clippers to take control of the game in the third quarter. Detroit finished 6-of-31 from the 3-point line. Bogdanovic and Saddiq Bey each made a pair of triples.

Kawhi returns: Kawhi Leonard had only played two games for the Clippers before Thursday night, and that was apparent on Thursday. The All-Star forward tried his luck in the post for his first shot attempt, but it fell flat as he shot a fadeaway from the baseline. He attacked the basket and tried a reverse layup for his second shot after being fouled by Bogey. Missed both free throws. Leonard appeared rusty, especially since it was his first game since Oot. 23 due to injury management. The All-Star forward only played 17 minutes and finished with two points, four rebounds and three assists.

Jalen Duren maximizes early opportunity. Once Marvin Bagley went to the bench due to early foul trouble, Pistons rookie Jalen Duren received an opportunity to showcase his talents in front of the LA crowd. The 6-foot-10 center had a clear size advantage over the 6-9 Nicolas Batum, who played center for the Clippers’ second unit. Duren imposed his will early and often as he grabbed five rebounds to go along with six points in the first quarter. He was active around the basket and both of his offensive rebounds resulted in slam dunks, including one as he was fouled by Paul George. He finished with eight points and nine rebounds.

mcurtis@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @MikeACurtis2

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