Pistons blow big lead but hold on for win

Mar 18, 2016; Auburn Hills, MI, USA; Sacramento Kings forward Rudy Gay (8) is defended by Detroit Pistons forward Marcus Morris (13) during the third quarter at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Pistons win 115-108. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 18, 2016; Auburn Hills, MI, USA; Sacramento Kings forward Rudy Gay (8) is defended by Detroit Pistons forward Marcus Morris (13) during the third quarter at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Pistons win 115-108. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /

The Detroit Pistons got back on track tonight against the Sacramento Kings.

115. 64. 108. 84. Final

Wow– what a roller coaster game for the Pistons! They could not miss a shot in the first half, and then could not stop the Kings in the second half. Ultimately, it was enough to get the much-needed win at home. I have to say I am proud of my prediction of 112-104, which can be found here:

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While it was not pretty, especially in the second half, the Pistons were able to contain Demarcus Cousins just enough to get the win on the first night of a back to back.

C+. Despite a below-average shooting night from the floor, Reggie was able to get his teammates involved early and often. His defense, as usual, left something to be desired. But he did a good job attacking the paint, which led to foul trouble for Demarcus Cousins. He finished with 19 points, 9 assists, and 7 rebounds. . PG. Pistons. REGGIE JACKSON

B+. It is becoming more and more clear that the ceiling for this Pistons team moving forward is heavily predicated on KCP being able to consistently knock down jumpers. Well, he had a great night tonight on the offensive end, which included three huge 3 pt shots. Pope has no problem taking the big shot. The Pistons just need him to start hitting those shots at a much higher rate. KCP finished the night with 23 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 assists. . SG. Pistons. KENTAVIOUS CALDWELL-POPE

B.  Marcus Morris played one of the best halves of the season for the Pistons in the first half tonight, ending the first 24 minutes with 20 points. He was quiet in the second half, but hit six of seven from three tonight. His presence is incredibly important for this team. I just struggle to understand why he had to play 20 first half minutes when there was such a significant lead. Morris ended the night with 24 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 assists. . SF. Pistons. MARCUS MORRIS

B+.  Stan Van Gundy threw a huge curveball to start the game by putting Tobias Harris on Demarcus Cousins. A very difficult matchup for Tobias ended with a 17 point first half for Cousins. Tobias continues to show his impressive consistency as he had 17 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists tonight. . PG. Pistons. TOBIAS HARRIS

B+.  You never know which version of Andre will show up these days. The box score won’t show it, but Andre came out with a lot of energy tonight. On the first offensive possession, he finished an and-1 on Demarcus Cousins which helped to set the tone for the half. And helped to set the tone for Cousins whining, which is even more fun to watch in person! Drummond finished with an efficient 14 points, 11 rebounds, and 3 blocks on 7 for 9 shooting. . C. Pistons. ANDRE DRUMMOND

STANLEY JOHNSON. C-.  It’s hard to blast a rookie coming off of his first significant injury in the NBA, but Stanley has just looked really bad since coming back from the shoulder issues. He’s forcing, as he did before, but his timing clearly isn’t there. His defense also isn’t there, which drove Van Gundy insane multiple times tonight. The rookie posted 6 points, 2 rebounds, and 1 assist. . SF. Pistons

Pistons. ARON BAYNES. B. I have to start out the analysis on Baynes by giving massive props to his ferocious red beard! Man…it’s really getting out of hand. But I like it. Baynes posted 9 points and 9 rebounds tonight in 20 minutes. Again, he played the crunch time minutes tonight with Van Gundy fearing the Hack-A-Drummond strategy.. C

PG. Pistons. STEVE BLAKE. B.  If we’re going to be honest, Steve Blake can’t do much on the basketball court these days outside of dishing the rock. But 7 assists in 14 minutes is good for 18 assists per-36. In all seriousness, Blake brings some semblance of order to the second lineup on most nights these days. And tonight was one of those nights. 

B-.  Reggie Bullock didn’t get much run tonight, although the “win now” part of me wants him to steal more of Stanley’s minutes. But Reggie posted 3 points and 5 rebounds in 11 minutes. Not great numbers, but he doesn’t force the issue. . SG. Pistons. REGGIE BULLOCK

B.  First of all, I want to say that I loved the move by Van Gundy to start Tobias on Cousins. At first, I was terrified about the thought of Cousins posting him up, but Cousins was content floating on the perimeter for most of the first quarter. Eventually, SVG switched Drummond to cousins once Boogie realized Tobias was too small. Secondly, I have trouble imagining how good management of a game like this allows for a 20 point lead to evaporate completely. Overall, solid showing from Van Gundy. And of course the usual sideline theatrics! . Head Coach. Pistons. STAN VAN GUNDY