After the Detroit Pistons ran off a 14-2 run in the third quarter, it looked like the brief losing streak was over. However, a poor start to the fourth quarter dashed those hopes. Behind 25 points and nine rebounds from Giannis Antetokounmpo, 21 points from Kris Middleton, and 22 points from Eric Bledsoe the Milwaukee Bucks downed the Pistons 104-100. Andre Drummond had a big game, scoring 27 points and pulling down 20 rebounds. Tobias Harris did his thing too, scoring 21 on 8/14 shooting.
That aforementioned “poor start” to the fourth quarter involved Milwaukee opening on a 14-1 run to take a 90-77 lead with just under seven minutes left in the quarter. Detroit fought back and trailed 97-94 after a jumper from Reggie Jackson, but the Bucks did not relinquish the lead. There may be plenty of fingers being pointed following the loss, but Detroit really has no case. It is inexcusable to allow that large of a run that late in the fourth quarter of a critical game.
The bench has been a sore spot lately and that continued tonight, chipping in 16 points. Stanley Johnson has to be better, particularly shooting. While Avery Bradley provided 20 points on 5/14 shooting, he needs to be more consistent if the Pistons are going to turn things around. Reggie Jackson added 14 points and four assists, but was thoroughly outplayed by Eric Bledsoe. In a game that was very winnable on the road some ugly problems reared their head.
After a hot start to the season, the Pistons are starting to look more vulnerable. Three of the last four losses come against opponents who the Pistons may see in the playoffs, the Wizards, Sixers, and Bucks. All of those losses are on the road as well, where Detroit has a pedestrian 6-7 record. Luckily, the Pistons are heading back home for the next three games…but face some stiff competition. The Warriors, Celtics, and Nuggets are next on the schedule and will truly test the mettle of this Pistons team.
(Featured image by Jeff Hanisch/USA Today Sports)