Pistons struggle in 2nd half against Clippers; extend losing streak to five

Detroit News

Los Angeles — The Pistons traveled west for the first time this season to begin a six-game road trip, but the change in coast — or weather — couldn’t prevent the outcome as the team’s previous four games.

After the best half that Detroit had perhaps played all season, the Pistons struggled to score in the second half and it ultimately came back to bite them in a 96-91 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday.

Detroit went cold in the fourth quarter and only managed to make 6-of-16 from the field for 14 points in the final 12 minutes.

Bojan Bogdanovic, in his first game on the west coast since he was a member of the Utah Jazz, shouldered the offensive load for the Pistons with 24 points, three rebounds and three assists. Detroit rookie Jaden Ivey used his quickness to get inside the paint to score. He totaled 18 points, three rebounds and four assists. He also committed four turnovers.

More:BOX SCORE: Clippers 96, Pistons 91

Saddiq Bey was moved to the bench in the Pistons’ last game against the Toronto Raptors, but he returned to the starting lineup due to Isaiah Stewart’s big toe injury. Bey struggled with his shot, but made an impact on the boards. He ended with 11 points and eight rebounds.

Clippers star Kawhi Leonard made his return to the lineup for the first time since Oct. 23 due to right knee injury management. He struggled offensively due to the long layoff and only finished with six points, five rebounds and four assists.

Former Pistons guard Reggie Jackson led the way for the Clippers with a team-high 21 points, three rebounds and three assists.

Defense helped the Pistons jump out to an early lead in the first quarter. They limited the Clippers to just 15 points in the first 12 minutes of action. LA rebounded in the second quarter with a 27-point effort to bring the deficit within eight points.

Marvin Bagley picked up two early fouls, forcing Dwane Casey to put Jalen Duren in the game. The Pistons rookie was productive early on with 6 points and 5 rebounds in the first quarter.

The Pistons entered the game leading the NBA in free throw attempts with 29.2 per game. The team got to the line 43 times last game but missed 12. The Pistons efficiency from the stripe improved against the Clippers as they knocked down 13-of-16 (81%) from the free-throw line.

mcurtis@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @MikeACurtis2

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