Pistons blow 11-point fourth quarter lead to Oklahoma City Thunder, fall to 0-8

Oklahoma City Thunder 92 Final
Recap | Box Score
90 Detroit Pistons
Jason Maxiell, PF 30 MIN | 5-10 FG | 3-6 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 13 PTS | +7

Maxiell was a real positive tonight. His defense and rebounding kept the Thunder at bay.

Tayshaun Prince, SF 40 MIN | 4-12 FG | 3-5 FT | 6 REB | 3 AST | 12 PTS | +3

He didn’t shoot that well, but he’s finally impacting game in more ways than just scoring. If he keeps this up, his shooting percentage won’t be such an issue.

Greg Monroe, C 34 MIN | 7-14 FG | 3-4 FT | 6 REB | 2 AST | 17 PTS | -2

It says something about Monroe’s development that he can have 17 points, six rebounds and two assists without it being one of his better games. I liked his defensive instincts, though, as Monroe took some well-timed gambles for steals.

Brandon Knight, PG 32 MIN | 2-13 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 6 AST | 8 PTS | -1

Shot terribly and made poor decisions down the stretch. I still think Knight can become an NBA point guard, but games like this will give his doubters plenty of ammo.

Rodney Stuckey, PG 41 MIN | 7-13 FG | 4-6 FT | 3 REB | 5 AST | 19 PTS | -4

This was Stuckey’s best game of the season, and he had a couple confident drives for baskets late that kept the game close. Still, he didn’t do enough to reverse what has been an underwhelming year so far.

Jonas Jerebko, PF 19 MIN | 1-6 FG | 1-1 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 3 PTS | -10

Missed a lot of shots and wasn’t terribly sharp defensively. This wasn’t his night.

Kyle Singler, SF 16 MIN | 3-5 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 9 PTS | -5

Played fine offensively in limited minutes.

Andre Drummond, C 13 MIN | 2-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 4 PTS | 0

Drummond might have had his best defensive game of the season and his athleticism helped the Pistons get a couple extra loose balls, which make it all the more curious he didn’t get more minutes. The reason was probably Jason Maxiell’s strong play, and Lawrence Frank was correct to reward Maxiell. But that’s why I wish Maxiell wasn’t on the team. The Pistons need to develop Drummond more than they need to use Maxiell to stay competitive in their eighth consecutive loss. Frank shouldn’t be in the position to decide between the two, because we all know he, like most coaches, will choose the more immediate impact.

Will Bynum, PG 17 MIN | 2-7 FG | 1-1 FT | 0 REB | 4 AST | 5 PTS | +2

Shot poorly, passed well. This was Bynum changing perception, but not altering the result.

Lawrence Frank, HEAD COACH

Think Frank wants to end the talk about his slow starts? He played his starters a combined 177 minutes tonight — more than any other game this season. The Pistons need a victory, but when you bet on it coming tonight and lose, it’s problematic. The Pistons’ bench is mostly comprised of young players who need experience to develop. They didn’t get that experience tonight, and Detroit didn’t get a win, either. That falls on Frank.

Most Valuable Player

Russell Westbrook. Though he will take flack for attempting a game-high 25 shots, Westbrook (33 points, 10 rebounds, four assists, three steals) was aggressive on a night most of his teammates lacked energy.

X-Factor

Kevin Durant scored 11 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter – and added four rebounds and four blocks in the period – waking up just in time to save Oklahoma City from an embarrassing loss.

Defining moment

The Thunder blocked shots on the Pistons’ first three possessions of the fourth quarter, and Oklahoma City opened the period with a 13-0 run to take the lead. The Thunder were cold most of the game, but when they buckled down, Detroit was mostly helpless.

Takeaway

The Pistons played fine for the first three quarters – and for Detroit, fine is divine – but the Thunder were playing their second of a back-to-back and fourth game in five days. It was impressive that the Pistons could build a double-digit lead on Oklahoma City in any circumstance, but it’s not terribly surprising that they blew it. The Thunder are simply a level or two above Detroit right now.

Tags: Andre Drummond Brandon Knight Greg Monroe Jason Maxiell Jonas Jerebko Kyle Singler Lawrence Frank Rodney Stuckey Tayshaun Prince Will Bynum

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