Three scorers with at least 20 points, and the Pistons only had one (Tayshaun Prince, 24 points). A starting backcourt that outscored Brandon Knight and Kyle Singler 49-7. A heavy reliance on a Pistons bench that had Lawrence Frank keeping the ineffective Greg Monroe and Jason Maxiell on the bench in the fourth quarter. In a blunt, three-sentence statement, that's how it all went down at the Palace on Wednesday as the Golden State Warriors broke the Pistons' five-game home winning streak with a 104-97 win of their own. Despite the Pistons bench picking up the scoring slack, the Steph Curry/Klay Thompson led-Warriors were too much for the Pistons in an up and down game of scoring runs and droughts.
Bursting out of the gate, the Warriors had the Pistons down and demoralized early with a 17-5 run to start the game. With 5:56 left in the first quarter, Rodney Stuckey and Andre Drummond entered the game and the bench-help theme for the game was set. Energized by two Andre Drummond dunks, the Pistons ended the quarter down only 21-20. The second quarter was played close— the Warriors couldn't stretch their lead higher than five points —but was a "Monroe-free" 12 minutes as Greg Monroe found himself on the bench with three fouls. Andre Drummond filled the void in the middle nicely with eight points, seven rebounds and two blocks before the half. Tayshaun Prince had already scored 10 of his team-high 24 points on the night, and the Pistons were only down 40-38 at the half.
The third quarter was a different story. With the Pistons only trailing six points with 6:52 left in the third quarter, the Warriors went on a 20-11 run to finish out the quarter. Steph Curry had nine of his 20 points in the third quarter, including two three-pointers. More impressively, Klay Thompson dropped in 19 of his 27 points in the third, had 11 points during Golden State's 20-11 run, and knocked down five three-pointers in the third quarter alone. Whenever the Pistons got a chance to chip away at the Warriors lead, Golden State would simply set up their pick-and-roll offense— something the Pistons couldn't handle —to find either Curry or Thompson for the wide-open jump shots they were hitting so frequently. The Warriors outscored the Pistons 39-23 in the third quarter and led the game 79-61 to start the fourth quarter.
Lawrence Frank wasn't blind to Curry and Thompson's third quarters, and spoke about it after the game:
"Once you start letting good shooters get comfortable," Frank said about Curry and Thompson. "(Then) an offensive rebound leads to a three, then all of a sudden they're feeling a little bit better about themselves…39 points (in the third quarter) is unacceptable."
Unacceptable, yes; and for that reason, it would've been easy for the Pistons to call it night against the seemingly "red hot" Warriors. But the Pistons had one last push left in them. With the "bench heavy" line-up of Knight, Stuckey, Prince, Charlie V. and Drummond on the floor to finish the game. The Pistons went on an 18-4 run after being down by 20 points in the fourth. The late-game run got the Pistons within three points of the Warriors with 0:52 left in the game. But after a few, final missed opportunities— missed Prince lay-up out of an inbounds play, a Klay Thompson steal off of a bad pass from Knight —the Pistons resorted to fouling the Warriors. Golden State made more than they missed at the charity stripe and the game ended for the Pistons in a 104-97 defeat.
Tags: Basketball, Detroit, Detroit Pistons, NBA
Pistons Game Notes
In his highest minute count of the season, 31 minutes, Andre Drummond put up a 15 point, 12 rebound double-double. Drummond was 6-for-8 from the field, and had two blocked shots.
Tayshaun Prince lead all Pistons scorers with 24 points. Prince also had 5 assists.
Rodney Stuckey played 31 minutes off the bench, and had 17 points and nine assists to show for it.
Every Pistons player off the bench (Maggette, Villanueva, Stuckey, Drummond) had 10 points or more on Wednesday.
Golden State's Stephen Curry had a double-double with 10 rebounds to go along with his 22 points. Curry also recorded three rebounds and four steals.
Klay Thomson of the Warriors led all scorers with 27 points, and was 5-for-8 from behind the three point line.
David Lee was Golden State's third 20-plus scorer. Lee had a double-double with 20 points and 11 rebounds.
Michigan State University alum, Draymond Green had two points in his 12 minute "homecoming." Green received a noticeable round of applause when he entered the game on Wednesday night.