'Score first' mentality fuels Delon Wright's 28, Pistons earn split with 76ers
Detroit — What a difference a couple of days makes.
And it helps when the opposition doesn’t have its best player.
The Pistons took advantage of the Philadelphia 76ers playing without Joel Embiid and led the entire way through a 119-104 victory on Monday night at Little Caesars Arena.
The win ended the Pistons’ four-game losing skid and turned the tables on Saturday’s loss to the Sixers
Delon Wright had a career-high 28 points and added seven rebounds and nine assists. Jerami Grant had 25 points, eight rebounds and five assists and Wayne Ellington 20 points for the Pistons (4-13).
“It's my nature to pass first but everybody's been telling me my whole career to go and score first,” Wright said.
Tobias Harris led the Sixers (12-6) with 25 points and seven rebounds and Tyrese Maxey 17 points.
The Pistons took a double-digit lead in the opening minutes, behind Ellington, who had a pair of 3-pointers in the first four minutes, and five points from Wright. After Blake Griffin scored on a drive, the Pistons’ lead was 17-4 at the 8:23 mark.
“Tonight was one of the best-disciplined games we’ve played in our transition defense,” Casey said.
The Pistons expanded the lead to 64-50 at halftime but the Sixers used an 8-0 run to get back to single digits, and another 8-0 run to get within 76-69 at the 3:56 left. The Pistons kept them at an arm’s length for most of the fourth quarter and pulled away in the final minutes.
There were some verbal fireworks in the fourth quarter between Josh Jackson and Ben Simmons, but the Pistons didn’t let the exterior derail their direction. Jackson was ejected after his second technical foul and the Sixers missed all the extra free throws they got in that sequence.
Wright had 15 of his points in the second half and his steady hand helped guide them through a close game. When the Sixers had a 5-0 run after the fouls, Wright hit a 3-pointer and helped cool things down.
“Tonight was a great team effort. Everybody that came in contributed in some way, fashion and form,” Casey said. “They tried to get physical with us down the stretch and we stood our ground.”