The Detroit Pistons (19-40) couldn’t get it done tonight, losing a close one to the Portland Trail Blazers (26-32) 107-104. The Pistons started this game poorly, trailing the Trail Blazers 40-24 to end the first quarter, but a 21-3 run in the second quarter tied up the game 43-43 with 6:30 remaining in the first half. The Pistons went into halftime with a 53-51 deficit.
In the second half, the Pistons were able to take the lead, going up 85-80 to end the third quarter, but the Blazers were able to hang on and retake the lead in the fourth quarter. With the Pistons down 107-104 late in the fourth, the Pistons had a chance to tie the game late before the game clock expired, but a bad pass from Bruce Brown Jr. sealed the Pistons fate in tonight’s defeat.
Portland played without All-Star PG Damian Lillard. Lillard will be sidelined for at least a few more games this upcoming week as he continues to nurse a right groin injury he suffered in last week’s game against the Memphis Grizzlies.
Pistons’ third-year guard Luke Kennard (knee) did not play in tonight’s game. Luke last played on December 21st against the Chicago Bulls, and as of now, there isn’t a set date for the young guard to return to action. When he does return, he figures to be a big part of the Pistons plans, as the Pistons look to rebuild and see what their young players have for the remainder of the season. Luke is currently the longest-tenured Piston on the roster.
The Pistons agreed to a buyout deal with now-former Piston Markieff Morris a few days ago (2/21). Morris cleared waivers earlier today and signed with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Pistons’ coach Dwane Casey continues to bring Christian Wood off the bench. Prior to the Pistons’ last game against the Milwaukee Bucks a few days ago, Wood started in the Pistons last four games. In those four games as a starter, Wood averaged 20 points and 10.8 rebounds per game. Wood hasn’t missed a beat since coming off the bench. Wood finished tonight’s game with 26 points, nine rebounds and a pair of blocks. In his two games since coming off the bench, Wood is averaging 22 points and 10 rebounds.
Brandon Knight, who the Pistons reacquired at the trade deadline in a deal that sent Andre Drummond to the Cleveland Cavaliers, finished tonight’s game with 15 points off the bench. Derrick Rose finished with 15 points as well in tonight’s defeat.
CJ McCollum led the charge for the Trail Blazers, finishing with 41 points, 12 assists, and nine rebounds. Former number three overall pick Carmelo Anthony finished tonight’s game with 32 points for the Trail Blazers.
The Pistons are off tomorrow but will return to the court this Tuesday to take on Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets on the road at 9 PM.