– John Loyer (right) wins in his debut as a NBA Head Coach over the San Antonio Spurs. Andre Drummond helped lead the charge for Loyer’s squad with 14 points, 9 rebounds (6 offensive), and 3 thunderous blocks.
As the past 36 hours come to a close, we watch the Detroit Pistons win their fifth at home, and third consecutive overall to tie the Charlotte Bobcats for the eight and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Interim Head Coach John Loyer could not have wished for a better way to start off his NBA Head Coaching career as he and his players close out one of the West’s best in his debut.
After the firing of former Head Coach Maurice Cheeks less than 36 hours prior to tip-off with Spurs, it was unknown what kind of energy we would see from the Pistons. Apparently, it was a positive one, as they handled the Spurs for 45 of the 48 minutes in a game that saw Detroit blow their lead up to as many as 23 in the third quarter (86-63).
Brandon Jennings led the charge for Detroit, pouring in 21 points in an entertaining fashion. Along with his scoring, Jennings helped out by dishing out 6 assists (zero turnovers), and grabbing 4 boards.
Although the Spurs scored 100 points, Detroit had a more intense effort at the defensive end. Hustling on defense, diving for loose balls, and getting out and contesting perimeter shooters. All of those key categories helped play a major role in the Pistons’ success tonight.
San Antonio shot 53 percent from the floor to Detroit’s 48, while the Pistons held the Spurs (number one in the league in three-point shooting) to just 29 percent from deep (Pistons shot 31 percent). Detroit did out rebound the Spurs 42-38, with contributions by Drummond (9), Monroe (10), and Smith (6) all night.
Detroit forced the Spurs into 19 turnovers, five over their season average of 14, while only committing 11 themselves.
Rodney Stuckey was one of six Detroit Pistons in double figures against the Spurs, scoring 20 points off the bench, Jennings scored 21, Josh Smith added 12, Monroe had 15, and Drummond topped it off with 14 in 26 minutes. Will Bynum also saw some extended minutes tonight as he found a new way out of a coach’s dog house, coach gets canned.
Bynum played 15 minutes as the backup to Brandon Jennings as Chauncey Billups sat out his second straight game after playing Friday night against the Brooklyn Nets. Bynum added 8 points off the bench, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope chimed in 9 off the pine in the Piston win.
The Pistons got going near the end of the first half, as they went on a nice run to extend their one point lead after the first period to 11 at the break (59-48) behind the lights out perimeter shooting of Brandon Jennings.
Detroit really got going to start the third quarter, as they extended their 11 point halftime lead to as many as 23 (86-63) halfway through the third period. Detroit took a 20 point advantage to the fourth (92-72) where they were ultimately able to hold on for the 109-100 victory at The Palace.
Detroit now stands at (22-29), tied with the Charlotte Bobcats for the final playoff spot in the East. Detroit will face off with the (18-33) Cleveland Cavaliers on the Wednesday before All-Star weekend as Detroit continues their playoff push.
John Loyer will go for win number two in as many games Wednesday night versus the Cavaliers as the Pistons will look to take over that eighth spot in the Eastern Conference with a Bobcat loss.
Detroit meets Charlotte in a home-and-home series starting the Tuesday after the All-Star weekend at The Palace.
Tags: Andre Drummond Brandon Jennings Chauncey Billups Detroit Pistons Greg Monroe Joe Dumars John Loyer Josh Smith Kawhi Leonard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope Maurice Cheeks NBA News New Rasheed Wallace Tiago Splitter Tim Duncan Tony Parker Will Bynum