Sekou steals the show as Pistons pull out a win at Golden State
Noah Graham (NBAE/Getty)
Three quick observations from Saturday night’s 111-104 win over the Golden State Warriors at Chase Center
NEEDED THAT – No, those weren’t the Golden State Warriors you’ve seen on national TV a million times over the last five years. The Pistons don’t care. Reversing the trend of bad third quarters, the Pistons took the lead for good during a 16-4 run that started midway through the third quarter to give them a 12-point lead. They then went nearly four minutes without scoring as Golden State pulled within a point with an 11-0 run, but the Pistons opened the lead back to seven points with nine minutes to play. The Pistons were without Blake Griffin, Luke Kennard, Reggie Jackson and Markieff Morris, while Golden State played without Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, D’Angelo Russell and Kevon Looney. Each team has used 16 different starting lineups this season, tied for most in the NBA, almost all of it injury driven. The Pistons committed nine first-quarter turnovers and managed to come out of it leading by two points, but those turnovers kept Golden State in the game. The Warriors wound up scoring 24 points off of 19 Pistons turnovers. Derrick Rose led the Pistons with 22 points off of the bench.
SEKOU’S START – Here’s the most important number from Sekou Doumbouya’s second start: 38 minutes, leading the Pistons. Dwane Casey reiterated before the game that the starting lineup would be matchup-driven while the Pistons remained without four key players and Doumbouya’s place in it would depend on the matchup. But if he keeps playing as he did at Golden State, he’ll make it an easy decision for Casey. And it wasn’t exactly a pushover matchup for Doumbouya against Golden State, where he went up against Draymond Green for most of his minutes. Green, who was ejected with five minutes left in the third quarter when he was slapped with two technical fouls, finished with two points, six rebounds and three assists in 21 minutes. Doumbouya, meanwhile, finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds – his second straight double-double – hitting 4 of 7 from the 3-point arc. He also picked up two assists and a blocked shot and defended well while making solid decisions. In the first half, Doumbouya played well enough to earn a team-high 18 minutes and hit 3 of 5 3-pointers, scoring 11 points. He had a sequence where he blocked Damion Lee’s layup try, then hit a triple the other way. “There’s going to be some matchups that are going to be tougher than others, so that situation’s going to be fluid,” Casey said.
ROSE ON A ROLL – Derrick Rose entered the game with a 17.1 scoring average, which would rank as highest in franchise history for a single season off of the bench. He also had 17 consecutive games of at least 10 points and four assists, the longest in the NBA for a bench player since Rod Strickland had 18 in 1993-94. Rose’s streak ended, though, as he was credited with just two assists – to some degree a result of Golden State aggressively moving to take the ball out of Rose’s hands, double teaming him with the pick-and-roll defender to try to force a pass. Rose, who played 12 first-half minutes, was with the starting group to open the third quarter – no doubt Dwane Casey’s response to the horrendous third quarters. In losses to San Antonio, Utah and the Los Angeles Clippers to start their six-game road trip, the Pistons were outscored 108-59. The Pistons turned their three-point halftime deficit into a five-point lead when Rose went to the bench. Rose wound up playing 28 minutes and hit 10 of 16 shots.