Warriors down Pistons for ninth straight victory
Draymond Green didn’t get to spend Thanksgiving with his family in Saginaw. He did put on a good show for them Sunday.
Playing about an hour south of his home town, Green finished the holiday weekend with 20 points as the Golden State Warriors beat the Detroit Pistons 104-93 Sunday for their ninth straight win.
"Anytime I can come home and play the way I did today, it’s great," said Green, who played his college ball at Michigan State. "My teammates gave me wide-open shots all game long. It was up to me to knock them down, but they couldn’t have put me in better position."
Stephen Curry added 16 points and 10 assists for the Warriors, who completed a 5-0 road trip.
"I’m glad we got the win and we get to go home," Curry said. "This really shows the character of this team, and that’s why we keep winning games."
The Pistons (3-14) have lost eight in a row, the longest streak of Stan Van Gundy’s coaching career, and have matched his career worst at 11 games under .500. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope led the Pistons with 23 points.
Van Gundy broke up his usual three-post lineup against the smaller Warriors, starting Kyle Singler at small forward and bringing Greg Monroe off the bench. It didn’t work. Monroe, Andre Drummond and Josh Smith went a combined 12 for 38, and the Pistons shot 30.1 percent as a team in the paint.
"We took 53 shots in the paint, and those are shots you obviously want," Van Gundy said. "We hit 11 of our 23 3s, and we only took 15 shots between the paint and the arc. That’s a pretty good mix, but you have to put the ball in the basket."
Facing the NBA’s best-shooting team, the Pistons only hit 27.7 percent from the floor in the first half. Detroit led after the first quarter, as Golden State also got off to a slow start, but the Warriors hit four 3-pointers in the second to take a 53-40 lead at the half.
"It’s so hard to sweep a five-game road trip in the NBA," said Warriors coach Steve Kerr. "I just think this is a professional team that understands you have to take advantage of momentum when you can."
The Warriors pushed the margin to 20 in the opening minutes of the third, as Van Gundy helplessly implored his team to "Fight! Fight!"
"After that, I think we fought a little more, but it was too late," he said. "It was ridiculous. We had a terrible second quarter and then we came out like that to start the third. You can’t dig yourself out of that kind of hole."
Caldwell-Pope finally got Detroit rolling late in the quarter, hitting three 3-pointers, but he missed 2 of 3 free throws at the end of the period, leaving Golden State with an 82-71 lead.
Warriors: Green, who grew up about an hour north of the Palace and played at Michigan State, got a loud ovation during the pregame introductions. . The Warriors have won seven straight against the Pistons, matching a seven-game streak in 1975-76.
Pistons: After missing his first five shots, Drummond finally put a ball in the basket in the first quarter. Unfortunately for the Pistons, it was the wrong one — he tipped in a Golden State miss while battling Speights for a rebound.
Detroit’s problems in the paint are nothing new. They are shooting just 47 percent from inside this season, and Van Gundy said that they rank last in the league in field-goal percentage inside 3 feet.
"We can’t go into a game and say that we don’t want shots at the rim," he said. "So I don’t have an answer."
Curry finished the game with a sore left ankle, but precautionary X-rays were negative.