The Detroit Pistons (4-7) received great news prior to tonight’s game. Both Blake Griffin and Derrick rose were not only cleared for action, but both were also added to the starting lineup tonight, a lineup that included two-time All-Star Andre Drummond, third-year guard Luke Kennard, and off-season acquisition Tony Snell. The Pistons, however, suffered defeat to a hungry Minnesota Timberwolves (6-4) team 120-114. The Timberwolves were coming off a loss to the Denver Nuggets off a Nikola Jokic game-winning shot yesterday night. They were only 6 for 45 from the three-point line yesterday but they made up for it tonight, going 15 for 34 from three-point range, including going 8 for 10 to start the first quarter of tonight’s game.
Blake Griffin scored 19 points to go along with seven rebounds and five assists on 6 of 12 shooting from the floor in limited action (24 minutes). He didn’t quite look 100 percent just based on tonight’s game, but hopefully, as the season goes on, Griffin will continue to work on his health and get as close to 100 percent as possible. Tonight marks Griffin’s first game of the season, where he will look to build off a career year last season with the Pistons in which he averaged 24 points (career-high), 7.5 rebounds and 5.4 assists. Griffin’s minutes will be monitored all season, as the Pistons will look to make sure Griffin is as close to 100 percent healthy as possible as the Pistons make a possible run in the playoffs. Tonight did no favors in that regard, but the Pistons are finally starting to get healthy and can start to string some wins once Griffin gets re-acclimated after taking the first 10 games off.
Derrick Rose also saw limited action (20 minutes) in tonight’s defeat against his former team, scoring six points on 3 of 13 shooting from the floor along with five assists. Prior to his injury, Rose led the Pistons in scoring for the season with 20.8 points per game with 6.3 assists. Rose is in the same position as Griffin, as the Pistons will also monitor Rose’s minutes to make sure he is healthy for a potential playoff run as well.
Andre Drummond was holding the fort down while Griffin and Rose were nursing injuries. Drummond came into this game averaging 21.2 points to go along with 18 rebounds per game. Drummond finished tonight’s match-up scoring 11 points on 4 of 12 shooting, grabbing 12 rebounds to go along with four steals. Drummond found himself in foul trouble again tonight, limiting his minutes in tonight’s defeat to 29 minutes.
Luke Kennard kept his fire going, coming off a 29 point game against the Indiana Pacers last Friday, scoring a team-high 25 points in tonight’s defeat.
For Minnesota, former number one overall pick Andrew Wiggins propelled his team to victory, scoring a game-high 33 points to go along with six rebounds and five assists. Karl-Anthony Towns scored 25 points and grabbed eight rebounds while contributing six assists for the Timberwolves. The Timberwolves snapped an eight-game losing streak to the Pistons tonight, a huge weight lifted off the back of their All-Star center Karl-Anthony Towns.
The Pistons finish their back-to-back set tomorrow on the road against former Oakland University standout Kendrick Nunn and the Miami Heat.