San Francisco — With all their injuries this season, the Pistons’ opponent wasn’t the same Golden State Warriors squad that created a dynasty and changed the game.
This is a different Warriors team, that moved to San Francisco and the confines of the new Chase Center from their previous home at Oracle Arena in Oakland. This season, without Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant, they have sunk to the worst record in the Western Conference.
With both teams depleted by injuries, it made the work a little easier for the Pistons, who took a 111-104 victory over the Warriors on Saturday night, ending their three-game losing streak and getting their first win on the western trip.
The Warriors had notched 13 wins in the previous 16 matchups and eight of the previous nine home meetings against the Pistons.
Derrick Rose had 22 points, rookie Sekou Doumbouya, in his second straight start, had another double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds and Svi Mykhailiuk 14 points for the Pistons (13-23). Andre Drummond, amid the trade talk, posted 14 points and 18 rebounds before fouling out.
Rose stole the show, with a move from coach Dwane Casey, who switched the starting group for the third quarter, inserting Rose for Tim Frazier, to help alleviate the Pistons’ bad starts after halftime. The switch worked, as Rose jump-started the offense with six points in the first six minutes, pushing them to a 17-7 run.
“It’s about who you have out there to be point guard and (Rose) did a great job of controlling things,” Casey said. “When we asked for a pass, he passed it; when we asked for a bucket, he got it. Everybody else contributed. Sekou did a great job defensively and did a good job of rebounding.”
The Pistons built an 81-69 lead in the third after back-to-back steals, leading to baskets by Frazier and Brown. When Rose rested, the Warriors (9-28) went on an 11-0 run and pulled within 83-80 entering the fourth quarter.
Rose started the final period and played the first 6:14, helping to stabilize things, as the Pistons made another run, 16-6, to open the period. Rose had six points during that stretch and the Pistons had a 99-86 lead with 5:59 remaining.
The Warriors made another run — without Draymond Green (Michigan State), who got two technical fouls and was ejected late in the third quarter — behind Alec Burks, who had 27 points, seven rebounds and five assists, and Omari Spellman, who had 23 points.
The lead was down to eight after a dunk by Spellman and a 3-pointer by Damion Lee (14 points) but Bruce Brown (14 points) got a lay-in and Langston Galloway followed with a drive to boost the lead until Rose returned for the final 3:18 and helped put the game away.
Doumbouya had 11 of his 16 points in the first half and was 4-of-7 on 3-pointers a growing part of his game. He’s still finding his way on the court, but looked even more comfortable, especially on the offensive end in looking for his shot.
“I talk to him consistently on the court and I'm trying to keep him going. While he's in the game, he does get a little lost sometimes but he's a very good listener, a hell of an athlete and a great defender as well,” Drummond said. “So, two double doubles in his two starts so I'm looking forward to continue playing with him and his growth has been great.”
The Pistons held on, looking to build their first winning streak in almost a month if they can get a win over the Lakers.
“Everybody came in and did a good job. Our defense was much better — overall, there was intensity and hard play,” Casey said. “In this position, with having lost the last three games, everyone bounced back and did a good job.
“Our Achilles’ heel continued to be turnovers and we had 21. To be a good team and a solid team, we have to improve in that area. Good effort and good win for us and we needed it — now we go to L.A.”