– Behind Blake Griffin’s 25 points (19 in first half), Clippers hold off Pistons on a “MLK” Day matinée at The Palace. Jamal Crawford added 26 points and 4 assists off the bench for the Clippers in just 27 minutes of action, talk about efficiency!
The Pistons stumble to another home loss on this Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Auburn Hills, Michigan, to the hands of Doc Rivers and the los Angeles Clippers.
Led by Rodney Stuckey (29 points off bench) and Josh Smith(24 points, 6 rebounds), the Pistons seemed juiced and ready to go behind a nice crowd at home for the Holiday afternoon matinée. Detroit opened the game with a 28-26 lead after a first quarter filled with high-flying action via Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan (16 points, 21 rebounds, 4 blocks), and Andre Drummond (15 points, 11 rebounds, 2 blocks).
After the opening quarter, it was a battle of the reserves to start off the second period of play. Led by Jamal Crawford’s 26 points off the pine, the Clippers started the second quarter on a 14-2 run.
One starter that did see extended playing time in the second quarter was Shooting Guard J.J. Redick, who just recently returned to the Los Angeles lineup a few nights ago. J.J. finished the game with 20 points and 6 dimes, going 7/9 from the floor, and 3/5 from distance (Had two 4-point plays, and fouled on three-point attempt three times).The Clips led by double digits for most of the game, taking a 64-53 lead to the halftime locker room.
After shooting almost 60 percent in the first half, Detroit started to clamp down on the defensive side of the court, starting the second half on a 8-3 run, to cut the lead to 67-61 early in the third. After the little scare from Detroit, the Clippers extended their lead to 16 after the third quarter, 94-78. Putting the Pistons in jeopardy of dropping yet another home loss (7-14 at home this season).
The Pistons would manage to make things interesting late, behind a nice defensive stand for a solid 2-minute stretch late in the fourth quarter, but it was too little, too late. Detroit managed to cut the lead to seven with under a minute to play, but the Clippers were able to hold on for the road victory, knocking off Detroit 112-103 in-game number 41 for the Pistons.
Detroit now sits on a record of (17-24) at the halfway point, not far off from last season’s record. Which isn’t a good sign if you are Joe Dumars in the last season of his contract. The Pistons are currently sitting in the ninth seed behind the Brooklyn Nets (17-22[7-1 in 2014]), and the Charlotte Bobcats (18-25)(Bobcats own tiebreaker over Detroit).
Detroit travels to Milwaukee to face the Bucks, home of the worst record in the NBA (7-33). The Pistons will hope to get their fourth victory in six games on Wednesday in Milwaukee.
AROUND THE NBA:
- Greg Monroe Trade Rumors: As reported by Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders, some of the decision-makers in Detroit feel that it is best for the organization to deal the talented Power Forward, while others disagree. The Washington Wizards have already been reported as interested in the Moose’s services. Even though the Wizards have interested, there isn’t much there in any potential Wizard-Piston deal centered around Monroe. Without giving up a player the caliber of Shooting Guard Bradley Beal, it is highly unlikely Washington could get anything done alone.
- Jeff Green, Gerald Wallace being shopped?: Also reported by CBS Sports, the Boston Celtics are rumored to be gauging interest around the league about forwards Jeff Green and Gerald Wallace. The motive behind the thinking is to free up cap space to be able to resign their All-Star Point Guard Rajon Rondo, rather than dealing him before the deadline or around Draft time.
- Pelicans shopping Eric Gordon, Tyreke Evans?: According to Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News, Shooting Guards Eric Gordon and Tyreke Evans could be on their way out of New Orleans. Lawrence went on to say that after the pieces put together by the Pelican brain trust has yet to click, New Orleans may look to deal the two guards. Could Detroit be a landing spot for one of the two? Eric Gordon would add perimeter help, Evans could move Josh Smith back to his natural position of Power Forward.
– Will be interesting to see which way the Celtics go with this dilemma of either keeping Green or Rondo, Either way, expect Detroit to be calling to see if they can work out a deal for one of the two as they both fit a need in Detroit. Along with Green and Rondo, it would be smart to take a look at the price of Eric Gordon or Tyreke Evans to help add some perimeter help to this paint based attack.
Tags: Andre Drummond Blake Griffin Boston Celtics Brandon Jennings Charlie Villanueva Chauncey Billups DeAndre Jordan Detroit Pistons Eric Gordon Gerald Wallace Greg Monroe J.J. Redick Jeff Green Jonas Jerebko Kentavious Caldwell-Pope Kyle Singler Los Angeles Clippers New Orleans Pelicans Rajon Rondo Rodney Stuckey Tyreke Evans Washington Wizards