First-half turnovers set Pistons up for failure in 113-93 loss to 76ers

Detroit News

The Pistons began the second quarter against the Philadelphia 76ers just as they did the first quarter, with a plethora of turnovers.

After giving up an easy layup to Joel Embiid, Marvin Bagley III took the ball out and inbounded to Hamidou Diallo, who then threw a low pass to Killian Hayes, but Matisse Thybulle was lurking in the backcourt and picked the pass off. He then challenged Bagley at the rim and converted on a tough layup.

It was just one of Detroit’s 15 first-half turnovers (a season-high), but likely the most egregious.

That’s how the ball bounced on Wednesday as the Pistons struggled to take care of the ball in a 113-93 loss to the 76ers at Wells Fargo Center. It was their fourth consecutive loss as Detroit finished with 22 turnovers, which also marked a season-high. The 76ers scored 36 points from the Pistons’ flurry of giveaways.

The Pistons trailed by as many as 19 and cut the deficit to nine points late in the third quarter. However, the 76ers went on another scoring surge to get a comfortable 14-point lead going into the fourth which, Detroit was unable to recover from. Wednesday’s loss also marked Detroit’s ninth consecutive loss in Philadelphia since March 4, 2017.

More:BOX SCORE: 76ers 113, Pistons 93

Embiid entered the game averaging a league-high 33 points per game. He flirted with a triple-double on Wednesday with 22 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and four blocks. He did most of his damage at the free throw line, finishing with 10-of-11 from the stripe.

76ers forward Tobias Harris, who played parts of three seasons for the Pistons from 2016-18, added 17 points and four rebounds. Harden totaled 15 points and eight assists.

Pistons rookie Jaden Ivey was coming off a career-high 30 points on Tuesday against the Utah Jazz. He was the most consistent scoring option again for the Pistons, but he was limited to just 18 points, three rebounds and three turnovers. He knocked down his first 3-pointer of the game, which resembled a good omen for the Pistons, but he finished 7-of-18 from the field.

It was a homecoming for Jalen Duren, who grew up in New Castle, Delaware, and attended Roman Catholic High School in Philadelphia. The 19-year-old center entered the game averaging a double-double of 10 points and 13.7 rebounds in his last seven games.

However, his time on the court was limited, especially in the first quarter, due to foul trouble. After picking up his first foul less than 40 seconds into the game, Duren picked up his second foul shortly after after he set an illegal screen on James Harden. He finished with just seven points, eight rebounds and a career-high four assists in his first career NBA game in his hometown and his first of many head-to-head matchups against Embiid.

More:Pistons, general manager Troy Weaver agree to contract extension

Isaiah Stewart struggled mightily on Wednesday. He finished with six points, five rebounds, five turnovers and five fouls. Stewart had three turnovers in the third quarter and committed his fifth foul of the game at the 8:48 mark of the third quarter.

The Pistons entered the game leading the NBA with 490 bench points (49 per game) since Dec. 1, but they only finished with 40 points from their reserves. Philadelphia totaled 47 bench points.

The Pistons will travel to Atlanta to face the Hawks for the backend of their two-game road trip. It’ll be the third meeting of the season between the Pistons and Hawks, who is leading the season series after two wins in Detroit in October.

Twitter: @MikeACurtis2

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