Pistons Pull Away From Trail Blazers
DETROIT – The Pistons knocked off the Trail Blazers, 111-91, to remain unbeaten with Blake Griffin (3-0) behind their home crowd of 13,810 at Little Caesars Arena Monday night.
The Trail Blazers dropped to 29-25 overall and 14-15 on the road. Portland's road mark falls below .500 for the first time since starting the year 3-4 away from home.
“We’ve gotta defend better, take advantage of our home crowd, get out and run, get easy shots," said CJ McCollum. "I think the tide will turn back once we get home."
Damian Lillard led the Trail Blazers with 20 points, with nine of those points coming in the third quarter on 4-for-5 shooting from the field. Al-Farouq Aminu paced the Trail Blazers with 13 rebounds to go with nine points.
Detroit was on fire from beyond the arc all night long, finishing a scorching 15-for-30 (50.0%). Four Pistons – Reggie Bullock, Langston Galloway, Griffin and Anthony Tolliver – made three 3-pointers each.
The Trail Blazers used a 10-0 run late in the first half to narrow Detroit’s 13-point lead to just three at 43-40, before the Pistons took a 49-43 advantage into the break.
"In the first half, I didn't think we took advantage of some of the offensive opportunites that we had, and it looked like we were a step slow in the second half," said Head Coach Terry Stotts.
Griffin led the Pistons with 21 in his third game since being traded to Detroit, while his new frontcourt mate Andre Drummond added 17 points. Drummond, who was named NBA Eastern Conference Player of the Week earlier Monday, added a game-high 17 rebounds.
Detroit has had Portland’s number of late, having now won five straight games in the series. Both Pistons wins over the Trail Blazers last season went into overtime. The Pistons will visit Portland for a rematch on March 17.
- CJ McCollum tallied 14 points, bringing his consecutive games streak in double digits to 36.
- Pat Connaughton led all Trail Blazers reserves with 11 points on 3-4 FG (3-3 3-PT).
- Jusuf Nurkic was the first Trail Blazer to reach double figures, and he has now scored at least 10 points in six straight games.
- Nine different Trail Blazers scored in the first half. Shabazz Napier led the evenly distributed Blazers attack with eight points.
- Damian Lillard has recorded at least five assists in 15 of his past 16 games. He has increased his assists average every month of the season.
- Ed Davis notched seven of his 10 rebounds in the first half. He has now recorded at least five offensive rebounds in eight games this season, most by any reserve in the NBA.
- Detroit's 36 assists (on 44 field goals made) marked a new season best and the most by a Trail Blazers opponent this year.
- Evan Turner (left calf) missed tonight’s game. Maurice Harkless started in his place.
"We knew this was going to be a tough road trip going into it, then you throw in the fact that they traded for Blake (Griffin). You're playing the two top teams in the East, and then follow it up with this as the last game. So we knew it was going to be a tough road trip. We let one get away in Boston, and then played poorly against Toronto and tonight." - Coach Stotts on Portland's 0-3 road trip
The Trail Blazers head home for a couple days before welcoming back Nicolas Batum and the Charlotte Hornets on Thursday at Moda Center. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. on NBC Sports Northwest and NBC Sports Northwest Rip City Radio 620 AM.
After playing five of the past six games on the road, Portland will now play 16 of its final 28 games in front of the home crowd.