Pistons 5-game win streak smashed by the Thunder

Just when it looked like this year’s Detroit Pistons were hitting their stride, they suffer their worst loss of the season to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

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After the Pistons defeated the Golden State Warriors on Saturday for their fifth straight win, they followed it up with a 110-83 beatdown at the hands of the Thunder on Monday night at Little Caesars Arena.

The Pistons had their lowest-scoring first half of the season, managing just 40 points while hitting 35 percent from the field.

From the opening tip, the Pistons seemed to be lacking intensity. They shot 8-of-27 (30 percent) from the field in the first quarter and made just 1-of-7 3-pointers. This all added up to their lowest-scoring total in a first quarter this season, at 26-17.

The second half didn’t go much better for the Pistons.

With a 58-49 lead, the Thunder went on a 29-10 run in the final 7:25 of the third quarter. Paul George scored 10 of his 17 points and Russell Westbrook added nine of his 18 points to close the quarter. Meanwhile, the Pistons managed just four field goals in the final 5:18, allowing the Thunder to build an 85-59 lead.

Blake Griffin finished with 20 points, five rebounds, and four assists and Andre Drummond contributed 13 points and six rebounds.

The loss was particularly frustrating for Griffin, as the five-game winning streak was just starting to energize the Pistons’ fan base. He told Ish Smith that the bad timing of the loss wouldn’t help their efforts to bring fans into the LCA.

Head coach Dwane Casey added that:

“We want to know why the fans won’t come out and trust us — we have to build that trust. When you lay an egg like we did tonight, we’re not going to earn that trust.”

The worst part of the loss is that the Pistons seemed to effort, something that did not escape Blake Griffin’s attention.

“For the most part, we’ve been a team that’s played hard and been in every game,” Griffin said. “We can’t have games like this. It can’t be lack of effort — there are going to be games that we miss shots but it can’t be lack of effort.”

“Coach Casey said it best: We just came out in second gear. We never got to first (gear). We never had a sense of urgency,” Griffin said. “Coach can only do so much; we as players have to be ready to come out and give a better performance, especially at the end of this long homestand.”

Luke Kennard returns

Luke Kennard returned for his first game since Oct. 25, when he suffered a shoulder sprain against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Unfortunately, Kennard struggled to find the offensive rhythm he had prior to his injury. He finished the game scoreless, on 0-of-5 shooting, including four misses on 3-pointers.

Reggie Bullock injured

Reggie Bullock sprained his left ankle in the first quarter, leaving the court and going to the locker room to be examined. It is unclear at this time whether he’ll be back for Wednesday’s game at Milwaukee or back against the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday at home.

Bullock previously missed a couple of games earlier in the season with a left ankle sprain.

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Written by Kevin Marheine

Born and bred in the Mitten. Michigan State University alumnus and sports junkie.

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