The Detroit Pistons were without the players they recently traded to the Los Angeles Clippers. They were staring a daunting eight-game losing streak straight in the face.
Notice the word “were”.
The scuffling Pistons brought some much-needed tenacity and got huge games from Stanley Johnson and Reggie Bullock to down the Cleveland Cavaliers 125-114. Detroit got off to a hot start and scored 33 points in the first quarter, a normally troubling quarter, predictably coughed it up in the second quarter, and then came roaring back to seal the win.
Bullock finished with 22 points on 9/15 shooting, including 4/6 from three-point land. Johnson, who played 40 minutes, had a double-double with 26 points, 10 rebounds, and four assists. Newly-named All-Star Andre Drummond dominated the paint with 21 points, 22 rebounds, and seven assists. Drummond will replace injured Wizards point guard John Wall in the All-Star game.
The Cavaliers, lets call it “slack”, defense once again proved no more troublesome than bashing a paper-mache pony with a torpedo. The Pistons were all over the Cavs whether it was from the paint, beyond the arc, or in transition. It was a very positive win for Detroit, who badly needed to get back in the win column as Blake Griffin gets set to make his Piston debut. After trading away Tobias Harris and Avery Bradley, Detroit will need all the shooting they got tonight from Johnson and Bullock for the rest of the season.
LeBron James finished with 21 points, six rebounds, and seven assists. Channing Frye provided a solid 20 points off the bench too. The big news for the Cavs is Kevin Love is likely out multiple weeks with a broken hand. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst projects that Love will miss six-eight weeks.
Kevin Love likely out 6-8 weeks
— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) January 31, 2018
If nothing else, the win is a nice ringining in for Griffin. The Pistons, if they can replicate this outstanding shooting, should make a push into the playoffs.
(Featured photo by Chris Schwegler via NBAE/Getty)