Pistons overwhelmed by Warriors to start western road trip, 102-86

Rod Beard
The Detroit News

San Francisco — The Pistons’ four-game western road trip didn’t get off to a sparkling start.

After a double-digit loss at home to Phoenix, the team with the NBA’s best record, the Pistons had another lopsided loss to the Golden State Warriors, who have the second-best record.

The Pistons had a slow start in the first quarter, and the Warriors stayed on the gas pedal in the second quarter, pushing to a 102-86 victory on Tuesday night at Chase Center.

Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson (11) celebrates after making a 3-point basket against the Detroit Pistons during the first half.

"This team consistently and persistently comes and cuts: weak side, strong side, splits. If you're not down and ready to defend that, it's a long night," coach Dwane Casey said. "If you do make a mistake, it's a 3-point shot. This is a great lesson for us to learn from. This is a championship team, and we played two championship teams, back-to-back."

BOX SCORE: Warriors 102, Pistons 86

Rodney McGruder had a season-high 19 points in 22 minutes, Hamidou Diallo added 16 points and 13 rebounds and Isaiah Stewart 14 points and 11 rebounds for the Pistons (10-33), who play the Sacramento Kings in the second game of a back-to-back on Wednesday night.

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McGruder scored 17 of his points in the second half, when the game wasn’t close, but he finished 7-of-10 from the field, including 4-of-7 on 3-pointers.  

Klay Thompson had 21 points in 22 minutes for the Warriors (32-12), his highest output since his return from injury. Steph Curry added 18 points and eight assists and Andrew Wiggins 19 points.

The Pistons stayed close in the opening minutes, after Wiggins scored seven of their first 10 points. Stewart had four points in the first five minutes, but the Warriors took off after that. Thompson hit a 3-pointer, starting a 14-3 run, turning it into a 26-13 advantage.

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Curry got going during that spurt, with a pair of 3-pointers, along with a lay-in by Gary Payton II and a drive and dunk by Wiggins. The Pistons were within single digits in the final seconds, but Damion Lee hit a jumper with 0.6 seconds left, for a 33-22 lead after the first quarter.

The Warriors got another run going in the second quarter, with a 19-6 start, including a reverse lay-up and 3-pointer by Curry, plus a jumper and three-point play by Jordan Poole. Thompson finished the flurry with a pair of free throws and a 3-pointer, for a 52-28 lead at the 4:47 mark.

Cunningham had a jumper and Stewart a tip-in, but the Warriors had another run, 14-6, finishing with a 3-pointer by Thompson, for a 66-38 margin at halftime.

McGruder got going near the end of the third quarter, with seven points in the final 2:37 of the period, and added a 3-pointer early in the third quarter to get within 19. He had two more 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, giving the Pistons a boost in an otherwise lackluster game. 

"I love his veteran presence and the way he competed. He didn't drop his head. We told them they're going to make tough shots," Casey said. "That's what this (Warriors) team does — they make long shots and tough shots. It's a next-play mentality, and I thought Rodney set that tone in the second half.

"With his scoring, he went in there with conviction and toughness."


Twitter: @detnewsRodBeard