It’d be foolish to say the Pistons’ win last night meant more than any of the last three, which all came against first-place teams.
But make no mistake — this win means quite a bit. As noted in the game preview, Detroit has struggled to beat bad teams and win at home regularly this season.
Last year, the Pistons lost just nine games to lottery teams. This year, they’ve already lost 11 to teams that wouldn’t makes the playoffs if they started today. And the they have 15 home losses — eight more than all of last year.
But Detroit showed plenty of focus last night. The Pistons won the first quarter, 33-16, and the second, 30-24, to take a 23-point halftime lead.
The last time the Pistons outscored their opponent by at least six in both quarters of the first half was a Dec. 13 game against Charlotte. The Hornets outscored them 30-12 in the fourth quarter, and Detroit nearly blew the lead.
But there was no slip up last night. The Warriors outscored the Pistons by six in the second half, but it was nowhere near enough.
Detroit’s 17-point win was its third biggest of the season. Just a 19-point win over Toronto on Jan. 21 and an 18-point win over Charlotte on Nov. 3 had a larger margin of victory. Until last night, the win over the Raptors was the Pistons’ only double-digit victory of the calendar year.
And of course, the win over the Warriors comes with Allen Iverson out.
The Pistons’ bench has now scored nine, 30, seven and 48 points in since Richard Hamilton moved into the starting lineup. Tonight’s 48 points from the bench is marred by the high minutes it played, but no Piston had a negative plus/minus.
Three reserves set season-highs in points — Jason Maxiell (16), Will Bynum (13) and Walter Sharpe (2). But Iverson has the ability to make Detroit’s bench better. The question if he will.
At this point, we know what we’re going to get out of this group. The Pistons have a four-game winning streak. And they’ve won back-to-back home games for the first time in the calendar year.
Top teams can win all types of games. Detroit is doing that right now.
Now, it’s just a two-week wait to see what’s next.