Pistons look out of sorts losing to Warriors in opener of western trip
One thing about the Pistons as they slog through the early part of this season is that they haven’t had bad lopsided games.
Wins or losses.
The largest margin of victory was 15 points through the first 19 games.
That is, until Saturday night.
The Pistons started their five-game western trip against the Golden State Warriors and just couldn’t get much of anything to work for them.
Poor shooting. Bad flow on offense. Blown defensive assignments.
The result was their biggest losing margin this season, a 118-91 loss to the Warriors at Chase Center.
“In the first couple plays of the game, I knew that something wasn't right,” coach Dwane Casey said. “There are no excuses in this league, because once you do, teams will embarrass you. That's what it was tonight — they just spanked us.”
Jerami Grant had 18 points, Josh Jackson 17 points and six rebounds and Isaiah Stewart eight points and five rebounds for the Pistons (5-15), but it wasn’t nearly enough, coming off their best win of the season, topping the Lakers by 15 points in their last outing on Thursday.
The Pistons got off to a slow start in the first quarter and fell behind by 10 points in the first five minutes, with a blazing opening 3-point barrage by Steph Curry (28 points, five rebounds and seven assists), Andrew Wiggins (20 points) and Kelly Oubre (18 points).
The Warriors (11-9) swept the season series, after a 10-point win in the first meeting on Dec. 29, with an offensive onslaught in the first quarter, taking a 29-17 lead after a Pistons rally to close the gap.
“We just couldn’t find a rhythm. Their guys were making shots and we just didn’t have the energy and intensity that we normally have,” Jackson said. “I'm confident we’ll find it; I’ve been around this group of guys for a while and one thing I’ve learned is they never lay down or never give up. I'm not worried.”
Stewart had a pair of baskets in the final three minutes and Derrick Rose scored on a drive. In the second quarter, the Pistons got the lead down to single digits, but the Warriors poured it on in the final four-plus minutes, including a 15-3 run that helped blow the game open and push the lead to 28 in the final two minutes, with two 3-pointers by Curry and two baskets by rookie James Wiseman (11 points and nine rebounds).
The Warriors opened the third quarter on a 10-2 spurt, with a floater and 3-pointer from Curry, and the rout was on, with a 74-47 margin at the 8:12 mark.
Wayne Ellington, who had been on a streak of seven games with at least four 3-pointers, was held scoreless, going 0-of-6 from the field and missing all five of his 3-point attempts.
One could easily point to the first game on a western trip and the travel, or the quick acclimation to a new time zone. Whatever it was, the Piston had their worst outing of the season, and it showed plainly.
“Give credit to Golden State — their defense had something to do with it. We were off rhythm and out of kilter,” Casey said. “A lot was their talent, their speed, the speed they play with. We knew that and that's what we talked about all day today, is how fast they play, and how fast you have to make decisions both offensively and defensively, and we didn't do that.”
The Pistons continue the trip Monday at Denver.