Pistons end 3-game skid behind KCP’s career night, defeating Pelicans 118-98
Tonight, the Detroit Pistons snapped their three-game losing streak defeating the New Orleans Pelicans 118-98 at the Palace of Auburn Hills.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was on fire all night scoring a career-high 38 points on 12-18 shooting while hitting 8 three-pointers. Pistons’ famous stadium announcer, Mason, even shrieked, “please bring a bucket of water for Caldwell-Pope.” KCP also added 4 rebounds and 4 steals.
Tobias Harris did a little bit of everything off the bench, scoring 19 points while grabbing 8 rebounds and dishing 4 assists. Most interestingly, Stan Van Gundy elected to go with Ish Smith over Reggie Jackson during “winning time” again. Ish Smith poured in 15 points on near perfect shooting (6-7) and did a great job finding his teammates, posting 7 assists. Reggie Jackson celebrated from the bench.
Most surprisingly, Stanley Johnson played 25 minutes, doing all of the little things to help his team win. Johnson had 4 points, 6 assists, 5 rebounds and played very physical on the defensive end of the court. Andre Drummond had a solid game as well, scoring 17 points (8-13) with 6 rebounds.
As a team, the Pistons outshot (53.9% vs 50.0%), outrebounded (37r vs 31r), and passed better (28a vs 21a) than the Pelicans while forcing 15 turnovers. Stan Van Gundy’s crew did the best they could with All-Star Anthony Davis, but he still scored 31 points while grabbing 12 rebounds. However, the Pistons did force AD into 5 turnovers, so it could’ve been a lot worse. Former UCLA standout, Jrue Holiday, continues to have a solid year picking up 22 points with 11 assists.
Overall, this game was very close until the 4th quarter. Detroit outscored New Orleans 35-17 in the fourth while dominating on defense. Ish Smith did a great job balancing the Pistons’ attack, pushing and slowing the ball up at the correct times. Stanley Johnson stepped-up in a way we haven’t seen all year. Both Smith and Johnson had a +/- rating of +36.
The Pistons will look to build on this win Friday when they take on the up-and-coming Minnesota Timberwolves (19-30) at home, 7:30pm EST.
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