Pistons squander 14-point lead to suffer 142-131 loss to Clippers in overtime

Detroit News

Detroit — After two days off due to the Christmas holiday, the Pistons hoped their recent third-quarter woes would not follow them into Monday’s matchup against the LA Clippers.

It appeared as if that wouldn’t be the case and more of the same would transpire as the Clippers piled on a 15-point lead five minutes into the second half. However, the Pistons showed a spirit of resilience that they hadn’t displayed in recent games with a 39-point third quarter.

Detroit’s ability to withstand a horrific start of the third quarter set the stage for an entertaining fourth quarter. However, the Pistons led by as many as 14 points with three minutes left in the game, but the Clippers pulled within two points with 21.9 seconds left. The Clippers had the ball down by two when Terrance Mann nailed a 12-footer to tie the game with five seconds left sending the game into overtime.

It was an epic collapse as the Pistons suffered a 142-131 defeat to the Clippers in overtime.

The final moments of the game were nerve-wracking for Pistons fans as they watched their team give away a double-digit lead.

Clippers forward Paul George had a chance to tie the game, but split a pair of free throws and the Pistons led by one point with just 21.9 seconds left. Killian Hayes was then fouled and sent to the stripe, where he also split a pair of freebies to give Detroit a 128-126 lead with 20 seconds left in the game.

Bojan Bogdanovic had a chance to win the game at the end of regulation, but missed a 3-pointer as time expired.

The loss extended the Pistons’ losing streak to six, dropping to 8-28. The Clippers improved to 20-15.

The Clippers had three players in their main rotation — Marcus Morris Sr., Reggie Jackson and Luke Kennard — that used to play for the Pistons.

Paul George led the way for the Clippers with 30 points and 10 assists. He finished 10-of-12 from the free throw line. Clippers coach Tyronn Lue pulled his George, along with the rest of his starters with a little over three minutes left in the game when the Pistons took a 14-point lead. Detroit took its foot off the gas and allowed the Clippers to cut the deficit to two points at the 1:23 mark and Lue sent his starters back into the game, setting up the comeback victory.

The Pistons had a different look when they lost to the Clippers last month in Los Angeles. Stewart was unavailable for that game due to injury and Duren was still in the second unit. Pistons forward Marvin Bagley III did not play on Monday due to a non-Covid illness. As a result, Dwane Casey staggered Duren and Stewart for the majority of the game after their initial time together in the first quarter.

Stewart finished with 21 points and seven rebounds. He nailed a 3-pointer at the 5:25 mark of the fourth quarter to give the Pistons a 119-112 lead.

Duren dominated the offensive glass early on, which led to easy putback dunks. He totaled 15 points and 12 rebounds, six of which were offensive boards.

Bojan Bogdanovic led Detroit with 23 points, three rebounds and three assists. He banked in a 12-foot jumper to give the Pistons a 121-112 lead with four minutes and 54 seconds left.

The first quarter was a battle of point guards as Jackson and Killian Hayes went basket-for-basket. Jackson, who spent six seasons in Detroit from 2014-20, began the game in the zone as he knocked down his first four shots, which included a pair of 3-pointers. Jackson scored 23 points to lead the Clippers to a 96-91 win over the Pistons on Nov. 17. Despite the hot start, he was limited by foul trouble and finished with 14 points and five fouls.

Hayes paced the Pistons with 11 first-quarter points. He nailed three triples in the first 12 minutes of the game and was consistent in knocking down his mid-range jumpers. He finished with 18 points, five rebounds and 10 assists.

The Clippers were without star forward Kawhi Leonard due to right knee injury management since Monday’s game marked the first night of a back-to-back. He is expected to play on Tuesday night against his former team, the Toronto Raptors.

Detroit will look to rebound on Wednesday when the Orlando Magic visits Little Caesars Arena for the second time this season.


Twitter: @MikeACurtis2

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