Detroit Pistons: Best games of the season’s first half

Isaiah Stewart #28 of the Detroit Pistons Copyright 2021 NBAE.
Isaiah Stewart #28 of the Detroit Pistons Copyright 2021 NBAE. /
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Delon Wright, Detroit Pistons
Detroit Pistons guard Delon Wright (55) dribbles by Philadelphia 76ers guard Matisse Thybulle (22). Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /

3. January 8: Detroit Pistons 110, Phoenix Suns 105 (OT)

This was the game where the Pistons showed the NBA that they had a great competitive spirit. Teams now knew they had to be ready to play when facing Detroit.

With six minutes left in the second quarter, Phoenix held a 54-31 lead. Considering the Suns are one of the top teams in the Western Conference, and Detroit had one win at that point, it appeared this was going to be an ugly loss.

But the Pistons fought back. Led by Blake Griffin (16 points, 12 rebounds) and Jerami Grant (31 points), the deficit was down to eight by halftime.

With 90 seconds left in regulation, the Suns held a four-point lead. Two Grant free throws and a dunk by Plumlee (Grant assist) with nine seconds left, tied the score and sent the game into overtime.

Five points by Saddiq Bey in the extra period helped the Pistons roll in overtime.

How many fans turned off their TVs (no spectators allowed at this point at Little Caesars) in the second quarter, only to find out they pulled out a thrilling victory?

2. January 25: Detroit Pistons 119, Philadelphia 76ers 104

The Philadelphia 76ers ended the first-half of the NBA season with the best record in the Eastern Conference. However, they certainly did not look like during a two-game set with the Pistons.

In the first matchup, the Sixers needed 33-points from Joel Embiid to pull out a 114-110 victory over Detroit.

In the rematch, two days later, Embiid sat this one out. The Sixers still had All-Star Ben Simmons and ex-Detroit standout Tobias Harris, who has been having a big year.

Without Embiid, the Pistons basically kicked the stuffing out of the 76ers. Delon Wright had a career-high 28 points while Jerami Grant scored 25 and Wayne Ellington knocked down six three-pointers enroute to 20 points.

The Pistons held as much as a 21-point lead and the Sixers never held the lead the entire game.

Related Story. Detroit Pistons-76ers: The Good, Bad and Ugly. light

It has been one of the oddities of the season that the Pistons have a penchant for beating very good teams, while struggling with teams lower in the standings.

One could say they might have taken Detroit lightly, but both the 76ers and (see next) the Los Angeles Lakers had very tough games the first time they faced the Pistons, so they should have been ready.