Pistons vs Warriors Game Recap

Detroit showed a lot of fight from the word go. Despite a couple of early ill-advised shots, Detroit rebounded like a playoff birth depended on this game. Though they won the rebounding battle in the end (47-44), early on they dominated they boards. Up until the 6 minute mark, it was a 1 point game — which is when Blake Griffin decided to put Damien Jones on his latest poster — from a post up, off the low block. The Pistons took their first lead at the :55 second mark. 11-10.

Detroit stayed on the attack offensively. Albeit not making many shots early on. Luckily the Warriors weren’t making many shots neither. The Warriors were ice cold. The Pistons were trying to take advantage, I’ll give them that, and  Stanley Johnson kept them competitive going  2-3 from range in the first quarter. Hitting from both corners.

For a quick stretch it was anyones game. The Pistons decided to stop guarding the paint, The Warriors abandoned what they’re known for ( the 3), and started attacking the paint.  Unfortunately for the Warriors, Detroit didn’t lay down. This years Pistons squad has a ton more fight than last years. They get punched, and you better believe they’re hitting back. Kevin Durant and Andre Drummond had words after a Drummond block foul on Jones. Bandana Dre was in full effect.

At the end of the first quarter it was 26-24 Pistons.

The second quarter started with fluid ball movement. At least 3 teammates touched the rock on the first two possessions. Defense was decent in the interior by the second unit, and Stanley Johnson is continued to show flashes of being a valuable asset going forward.

The Second unit showed no fear on either side of the ball. From attacking the rim, to jumping in passing lanes, dishing to teammates, and bringing it to the Warriors starters. Yes, you read that right, the starters. Now, either Golden State expected the Detroit to lay down while Steph Curry got his game legs back, or the Pistons had a point to prove in this marquee/statement game. Either way, Dwayne Casey is what this Pistons team needed. The Pistons built the lead up to 10 by the 5:20 mark.

Detroit actually played the Warriors pace. The Pistons starters were actually getting great rest without stressing over a lead. In fact Drummond and Griffin didn’t return until the 4:37 mark. By the time Reggie Jackson came back in to replace a winded Stanley Johnson, the clock was at 3:47. Detroit went up as much as 11. Although the lead did drop down to as low as 5 — ironically by the first unit — coach Casey’s team eventually put their collective foot back on the gas, getting the lead back up to 10.

Detroit was rolling, up 54-46 at the half.

Andre Drummond had 9 points and 11 rebounds, Blake Griffin had 8 points 3 rebounds and 3 assist and Stanley Johnson had 13 points and 5 rebounds off the bench.

As a team the Pistons out rebounded the Warriors 26-10 and had 13 assist to the Dubs 9.

3rd Quarter

Out the gate a turnover lead to Andre Drummond all alone in the open court charging to the rim to bring the thunder. Blake Griffin had a nasty Dream Shake-esqe turn around jumper from the elbow. The Pistons not only kept their foot on the gas, they changed into a higher gear. Blake Griffin started knocking down threes, Reggie Bullock knocked one down, Reggie Jackson was converting an and 1, and early on you could tell interior defense was definitely a point of emphasis at halftime.

Only problem was Detroit forgot all about one of Golden State’s biggest strengths: the perimeter. Detroit started giving up three’s and when they weren’t doing that, they weren’t boxing out. But coach Casey has a resilient squad. After they let the lead dwindle down to 2, But the Pistons rose up to the occasion. They were really trying to do their best impression of the hard hat ‘Going to Work’ team of 03/04. Ish Smith pushed the pace one last time in the third quarter then hit Stanley Johnson in the left corner for a three to end the 3rd quarter.

4th Quarter

The Pistons pressed too hard early on in the fourth quarter. Detroit tried a few times to hit contested three’s; apparently going for the knock out punch, instead of playing disciplined like they had been the previous three quarters. When the opportunity rose to finally get an open three, it was knocked down promptly by Ish Smith. This forced the Warriors to call a timeout.

The Pistons continued to rotate crisply on defense, making the Warriors take contested shots and earn points at the line. On a side note, if Detroit plays like this for the rest of the season they will make noise in the playoffs as a top 4 or 5 seed. Back to the game.

Up 8 points at the 8:13 mark, everyone in Little Caesar’s Arena was hoping the Pistons would play to win and not to lose.

If the  Pistons game plan was to force the Warriors into contested three’s, it was working like a charm. Golden State was desperate to get Kevin Durant or Steph Curry going. It was almost like Klay Thompson didn’t exist at times. Bandana Dre continued to swallow up every rebound he touched and continued to show flashes as a decent rim protector. The rest of the team followed suit, contesting everything, chasing, rotating, taking charges; this team wanted this game. Bad.

Down the stretch the Pistons played as a team, even Reggie Jackson got a couple of assist. The Warriors tried one last hurrah down the stretch, but in the end, it was Detroit vs the big 3 of Golden State. It was too much Blake Griffin (26 pts 6 rebs 5 ast) too much Bandana Dre (16 pts 19 rebs), and too much… Stanley Johnson (19 pts 7 rebs). Stanley had 19 off the bench, and is the recipient of the Live From Woodward game ball.

Final Score

Detroit Pistons 111

Golden State Warriors 102

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