Pistons snap seven-game losing streak with 110-108 win over Nuggets

Detroit News

It would be easy for the Pistons to realize that they’re shorthanded on most nights, but that hasn’t been an excuse during the team’s longest road trip of the season.

Detroit hasn’t come away with many victories on the its six-game west coast swing, but they are consistently finding ways to remain competitive without three of their best players.

The latest stop was Denver, the hottest 3-poinnt shooting team in the NBA, led by defending MVP Nikola Jokic.

The result? The first win for the Pistons since Nov. 7 as Detroit fought tooth and nail for a 110-108 victory over the Nuggets in the Mile High City.

More:BOX SCORE: Pistons 110, Nuggets 108

After leading by 13 points in the fourth quarter with six minutes and 34 seconds in the game, the Nuggets fought back to bring the game within one with a little over two minutes left. The Pistons led 104-103 when Alec Burks drew a foul and made a couple of free throws to extend the Pistons’ lead back to three. He then connected on a fadeaway midrange shot with 50.6 seconds left to give Detroit a healthy five-point lead.

The Nuggets couldn’t overcome the deficit despite back-to-back late buckets from Nikola Jokic, leading to the Pistons’ first road victory of the season. It snapped a seven-game losing skid by Detroit.

Bojan Bogdanovic led the Pistons with 22 points, nine rebounds and four assists, including the late free-throws that helped Detroit seal the win. He entered an offensive zone in the first quarter that kept the game close early on. The eight-year veteran converted on unorthodox layups. He knocked down a 3-pointer. He connected on an array of difficult shots that appeared easy for the prolific-scoring forward. Bogdanovic made six of his first nine shots and finished the quarter with 13 points.

Detroit’s bench had a profound impact on the game. It produced 53 points, large in part to Burks, who’s become instant offense since he returned to the lineup earlier this month. He finished with a 21 points off the bench.

Kevin Knox II, who followed up his season-high 11 points against Sacramento on Sunday with 17 points and seven rebounds against the Nuggets. Knox ran the floor in transition for easy dunks, connected from the perimeter and scored hustle points for the Pistons.

Jokic missed three games due to health and safety protocols, but returned on Tuesday. He didn’t appear rusty at all, finishing with a dominant all-around game of 31 points, nine rebounds and 10 assists. Michael Porter Jr. added 18 points and eight rebounds. Aaron Gordon had 17 points and seven rebounds.

The Nuggets entered the game as the top leading 3-point shooting team in the NBA, but the Pistons defended it well. Denver finished the game with just five triples on 19 attempts.

There was a brief moment of silence before the playing of the national anthem to honor the five victims who died, — along with the 18 people injured — due to the mass shooting on Saturday at Club Q in Colorado Springs, Colorado. It was the first Nuggets home game since the tragedy that happened.

Bogdanovic picked up his fifth technical foul of the season in the second quarter and tied Luka Doncic for the third-most technical fouls in the NBA. Only Kevin Durant (7) and Draymond Green (6) have accumulated more technical fouls this season.

Despite a sloppy third quarter for Detroit that was plagued by six turnovers, the Pistons produced an 8-0 run late in the period that allowed them to take a two-point lead going into the final quarter.

The Pistons will try to take their momentum into Utah on Wednesday for the fifth game of their six-game road trip. The game against the Jazz will mark Bogdanovic’s first game in Utah since he was acquired by the Pistons.


Twitter: @MikeACurtis2

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