Detroit — The Thunder brought the NBA’s longest winning streak to Detroit to face a Pistons team with the league’s longest losing streak, and behind big performances by their “Big Three,” Oklahoma City left with their streak intact at seven.
Russell Westbrook had a triple-double with 31 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds as the Thunder cruised to a 121-108 win over the Pistons Saturday evening at Little Caesars Arena, extending Detroit's losing streak to seven games.
Paul George chipped in with 26 points, while Carmelo Anthony finished with 21.
“Those guys all played really well, particularly Westbrook,” Stan Van Gundy said. “He was unbelievable. Their starting lineup just dominated us.”
The Pistons started Langston Galloway at point guard for the second consecutive game, but Van Gundy will still be left searching for answers with his starting lineup after that group failed to provide any kind of resistance to Oklahoma City’s first unit.
“We’ve got to try to do things that are more within our control,” Van Gundy said. “There were too many times we didn’t get back on defense. We’ve got to get back. We did not do a good job on the boards, (giving up) 24 second-chance points. That’s something we should be able to do a better job of. And as good as they are defensively, we’ve got to be able to take care of the ball. Just very basic things. We thought going in those were the three keys to the game, and I don’t think we did a very good job on any of them.”
The bench was the lone bright spot for the Pistons. They started off hot, scoring 34 of the team’s 57 first-half points. Reggie Bullock poured in 10 in that span, while Boban Marjanovic and Luke Kennard netted eight apiece to spur a 13-4 run that cut Oklahoma City’s double-digit lead to four midway through the second quarter.
That group wasn’t given much of a chance in the second half after Van Gundy came back with the same starting five after the break. The Thunder went on a 15-0 run to start the second half to push their lead to 27.
“We were able to fight back a little bit and cut the lead down,” Kennard said. “But when you’re trying to play catch-up against a really good team like that it can be tough.”
Pistons coach discusses team's seventh-straight loss, a 121-108 defeat to Oklahoma City. Geoff Robinson
“I thought the way that (the bench) fought back was great. We all believe in each other and believe we can win any game on any night. We’ve got to continue to believe that and continue to stay together.”
While the bench did make another run in the fourth quarter to cut the Thunder lead to nine with six minutes remaining, Oklahoma City came back with its stars and put the game away.
“Our bench outplayed their bench,” Van Gundy said. “But it didn’t matter because their starters dominated us.”
Bullock finished with 16, Ish Smith 15, Majanovic 14 and Kennard 11 as the Pistons got 64 points from their reserves.
Tobias Harris netted a team-high 21, while Andre Drummond had 12 points and 13 rebounds.