- Eric Gordon (15 points, 3 assists) leads fourth quarter comeback in Detroit, hitting the game-winning floater with 01.9 seconds to go.
Pistons squander yet another double-digit second half lead, again, to one of the worst teams in the NBA, the Pelicans. Now, at full strength, by no means are the Pelicans one of the worst in the league, but they did play tonight without All-Star Point Guard Jrue Holiday, sharp-shooing big man Ryan Anderson, combo-guard Tyreke Evans, and finishing out the list, rotation big Jason Smith.
The Pelicans threw out a starting lineup that read (PG-C): Brian Roberts, Eric Gordon, Al-Farouq Aminu, Anthony Davis, and Alexis Ajinca. Detroit lead by a single-point after a back-and-forth opening period. Andre Drummond, who finished with his first career 20/20 game (21 points, 20 rebounds, and a pair of blocks), became the first Piston to do that since Antonio McDyess in 2009. Drummond finished the first quarter with 7 points and 5 rebounds to lead the way for Detroit.
The Pelicans would answer in the second quarter, going on a 20-4 run to stretch their lead to double figures midway through the second quarter. The Pistons cut the lead down to just six to end the first half of play.
Brandon Jennings (28 points, 7 assists) led the way for Detroit in the third quarter, scoring 18 of his 28 in the period, helping Detroit to a 30-4 run that stretched for most of the period. The Pelicans would end the quarter on a 13-4 run to cut the lead back down to single-digits heading into the fourth, 80-71. Detroit outscored New Orleans 32-17 in the period.
However, the Pelicans stole the show in the fourth as they rallied behind the outside shooting of Anthony Morrow (21 points) and Eric Gordon (15 points) to reclaim the lead with just 1:15 to go in the game following an Anthony Davis tip-in.
After Detroit managed to tie the game at 101 with 19 second remaining, as a fan, you still felt that Detroit would find a way to ultimately blow their second half lead, which they did.
Eric Gordon nailed a 6-foot floater inside the paint over his defender (Kentavious Caldwell-Pope) with just 01.9 to go in the game. With two timeouts remaining after the Gordon floater, Detroit decided to pass in the ball and not call a timeout resulting in a three-quarter court heave by Brandon Jennings that did not fall, resulting in a Piston loss, 103-101, their third straight. The Pistons are now (17-26) on the year.
At the time, Mo Cheeks was up screaming for a timeout, but was all the way on the other side of the court, far from the officials. The Piston players (mostly KCP and Jennings) should have been briefed about the timeout situation before the final play.
Detroit has managed to squander back-to-back double-digit leads against depleted teams. Morale seems to be at an all-time low, and the fan base is starting to turn on the big three experiment if they haven’t already.
It will be interesting to see how the Pistons handle this internally, whether it be a trade to shake things up, blow up the team and tank, or just a coaching change that may be needed,
The Pistons are back in action in Dallas Sunday night to face off against the Mavericks, see you then.