Detroit Pistons fall apart in loss against Jimmy Butler, Sixers

Detroit Pistons Blake Griffin. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Detroit Pistons Blake Griffin. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Pistons lost on Friday night to the Embiid-less 76ers in a self-destruct sort of fashion. This is a bad loss.

Detroit Pistons coach Dwane Casey knew what was going to happen in the fourth quarter. He almost predicted it in an interview before the game started and he was asked about Jimmy Butler.

It was put on wax that the Detroit Pistons would need to be prepared for a Butler burst in the fourth quarter.

The two-way guard scored 13 points in the fourth quarter to cap off a 38-point night in LCA.

It was a deflating loss for the Pistons as they dropped their third game in a row Friday night against Butler and the Philadelphia 76ers even in Joel Embiid’s absence.

The Sixers’ best player needed some rest and the Pistons were not able to take advantage of such an offensive gap.

However, Detroit had the game in the palm of their hands.

Blake Griffin had another strong offensive performance with 31 points, 12 rebounds and 6 assists.

They scrapped into the fourth quarter with a one-point lead over the Sixers that quickly grew with an odd combination of Luke Kennard, Jon Leuer, Zaza Pachulia, Jose Calderon and Langston Galloway on the floor.

Whatever you’re thinking, I thought the same. But, with Ish Smith, Reggie Bullock and Stanley Johnson out, Casey needed to do some major tinkering to his lineups to keep Philly just a step behind.

In a game that was determined by bursts, the Pistons became frustrated as the Sixers pushed them out of the driver’s seat.

So much so that both Blake Griffin and Dwane Casey ended up with technical fouls. The competition between these two teams keeps climbing as they continue to play each other in a more gritty, physical brand of basketball every time they meet.

What ultimately cost the Pistons the win? Philly’s length and timing.

Deep into the fourth quarter, with 2:33 left on the clock, Ben Simmons brought the ball up in what would be a play that would result in two offensive rebounds for the Sixers. On the defensive end, right after, Griffin picks up a full head of steam towards the hoop, and Butler gets to his position just in time to sell his charge.

Back-to-back action explains away much of the second half for the Pistons. As Philly settled in, the Pistons lost control of the game.

The Detroit Pistons will move forward. They have to. Another game. Another squad.

Until Monday night.