Rose’s tour de force 4th quarter, buzzer beater carries Pistons past Pelicans
Layne Murdoch Jr. (NBAE/Getty)
Three quick observations from Monday night’s 105-103 win over the New Orleans Pelicans at Smoothie King Center
ANOTHER ROSE WINNER – Take this set of facts: At halftime, the Pistons were shooting 33 percent, had committed 14 turnovers and got a total of 15 points from their starting lineup. Then guess what their deficit was. Twenty? Thirty? Nope. Six. That gave them a chance to recover from a sloppy first half and they seized the opportunity – nobody more assertively than Derrick Rose. Rose scored 17 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter, including the game winner with three-tenths of a second to play when he took Jrue Holiday into the paint, stepped back and drained a 10-footer for the win – the second straight game in which Rose hit the game-winning shot on the final possession. Recovering from their sluggish first half, the Pistons surged ahead in the third quarter by outscoring New Orleans 34-21 to take an 81-74 lead into the fourth. They pushed the lead to 12, but their defense sagged as New Orleans rallied to take the lead on Brandon Ingram’s contested jumper with 1:35 left. Rose, who scored 11 points in the first six minutes of the fourth quarter, tied the game with 38.7 to play. The Pistons forced Ingram into a tough miss and got the ball back with 14.7 seconds left. Blake Griffin struggled to one of his worst games since coming to the Pistons, finishing with five points on 1 of 9 shooting. It was the ninth straight loss for New Orleans while the Pistons have now won four of five and two straight on the road after losing nine straight road games.
FOULED PLANS – Foul trouble forced an atypical rotation pattern and some unfamiliar lineups on the Pistons in the ragged first half. Andre Drummond picked up two fouls midway through the first quarter, sat until the start of the second and then was back on the bench less than a minute later with a third foul. He played 7:20 of the first half with six points and four rebounds. That led to the first extended pairing of Blake Griffin and Markieff Morris at the two power positions, a grouping that got easier for Dwane Casey when New Orleans big man Jahlil Okafor also got tagged with three fouls in six first-half minutes. Luke Kennard also was limited to nine first-half minutes by picking up three fouls, leading to a more extended run for Svi Mykhailiuk. The Pistons got 60 minutes from their starters in the first half and 60 from their bench, which contributed 32 of their 47 points and finished with 59 points. Drummond picked up his fourth foul with 3:42 left in the third quarter and that led to Casey using Thon Maker to buy some minutes at the start of the fourth. In the three minutes before Drummond returned, the Pelicans grabbed four offensive rebounds.
THE 3-POINT STORY – Dwane Casey fretted about the fire he anticipated from New Orleans after its humiliating 46-point loss to Dallas on Saturday and about the fact the Pelicans endured one of the worst shooting days in NBA history from the 3-point arc, hitting just 3 of 32 attempts or 9.4 percent. He remembered what happened last month when Minnesota shot 13.3 percent (6 of 45) in a two-point overtime loss to Denver and the next night hit 44.1 percent (15 of 34) in beating the Pistons. But New Orleans hit just 4 of 18 in the first half, then opened the second half by missing three 3-pointers on their opening possessions and 10 straight to start the half. And then the Pelicans warmed up. Brandon Ingram and Josh Hart hit two apiece as New Orleans hit 4 of its next 7. New Orleans finished 8 of 38. The Pistons weren’t significantly better, finishing at 11 of 35. Luke Kennard missed his first four before hitting one with 4:30 left to put the Pistons ahead 99-95. Langston Galloway hit 4 of 8 triples and finished with 16 points.