Pistons' rally fizzles, Warriors take them down to fourth defeat
Detroit — With three losses to open the season, the Pistons were on the verge of digging themselves a huge hole to start the season.
An 0-4 start would be their worst since the 2012-13 season, when they opened with eight straight losses.
The count is still going.
The Pistons, playing without Blake Griffin and rookie Killian Hayes for most of the second half, pulled things together and but fell short of getting their first win of the season, with a 116-106 loss to the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday night at Little Caesars Arena.
Griffin was placed in concussion protocol after taking an elbow to the jaw from Warriors center James Wiseman in the second quarter. No foul was called on the play, and Griffin had a bloody mouth. He stayed in the game but later was removed and didn’t play in the second half.
Hayes had a right ankle sprain in the third quarter and didn’t return.
"Blake's got to go through the concussion protocol and all the league mandates," coach Dwane Casey said. "Killian's ankle was sore and he tried to go in the second half but just couldn't get it going."
Aside from the injuries to two starters, the Pistons had to scrap their way through with shaky offense. Jerami Grant had 14 of his 27 points in the third quarter. Josh Jackson, who got his second straight start, had 17 points and six rebounds.
"We had a good first half, but we allowed them to go on a 17-5 run to start the second half and that's just not a good recipe," Casey said. "I love the way the guys are competing and playing, with a lot of young mistakes and a lot of being together for a short time mistakes."
The Pistons trailed, 77-76, entering the fourth quarter and got a surge from Derrick Rose, who scored eight points of his 15 points in the first four minutes. His jumper and driving reverse lay-in put the Pistons ahead, 89-86.
The Warriors (2-2) answered with a 12-0 run, including a pair of 3-pointers and another jumper from Andrew Wiggins (27 points). Wiseman had a highlight-reel sequence with a block and dunk in transition.
Grant ended the run with windmill dunk, but Wiggins hit another 3-pointer for a 101-91 lead with 5:15 remaining. The Warriors took their biggest lead, by 13 points, after a 3-pointer by Steph Curry (31 points, five rebounds, six assists).
The Pistons made a run, with Jackson scoring on a drive and getting fouled, but he missed the free throw. They got within 108-103 with 1:42 left on a lay-in by rookie Isaiah Stewart, but the Warriors never let them get closer, with a 3-pointer by Damion Lee and three free throws from Curry for the final margin.
The loss ends a string of three games in four nights; they’ll have another three-in-four this weekend, with home games against the Boston Celtics on Friday and Sunday and then playing at Milwaukee on Monday.