Warriors 104, Pistons 97
In a battle of young backcourts, the Golden State Warriors were
an easy winner over the Detroit Pistons.
Klay Thompson (27 points) and Stephen Curry (22) outscored
Detroit’s Brandon Knight and Kyle Singler 49-7, and Golden State
posted a 104-97 victory Wednesday night. Singler and Knight went a
combined 2 for 16 from the floor, while their Warrior counterparts
hit 16 of 28, including nine 3-pointers.
”The numbers tell a big part of the story. Your guards get
outscored 49-7, it is going to be tough to win,” Pistons coach
Lawrence Frank said. ”That’s just a bad night.”
The Warriors, starting a seven-game road trip against the
Eastern Conference, snapped Detroit’s five-game winning streak at
home. Golden State has now won two straight games in Detroit after
losing 25 of 29.
”That was a great effort, especially in the second half to play
it out,” Golden State coach Mark Jackson said. ”We had some
breakdowns at the end, but we ended up with a victory. We’ll learn
from those, but I’d much rather be learning from a win rather than
Curry added 10 assists, his fourth straight 20-10 game, while
David Lee had 20 points and 11 rebounds for the Warriors.
”What I love right now is that Steph is in total control out
there on the floor,” Jackson said. ”When things get crazy, I
don’t feel like I need to call a timeout, because I’m so
comfortable with his ability to run this basketball team.”
Tayshaun Prince was the only Pistons starter to reach double
figures, but four reserves scored at least 10, including 17 from
Rodney Stuckey and 15 points and 12 rebounds from rookie Andre
Drummond in a career-high 31 minutes.
”We knew that Golden State had great shooters on their team, so
if you leave them open for a split second, they are going to knock
the shot down,” Drummond said. ”We let some things slip away and
played out of character. Moving forward, we have to nip some of
that in bud.”
Golden State looked like it would take control early, jumping
out to a 19-7 lead, but neither team could shoot well enough to
hang on to any sustained advantage in the first half. The Warriors
hit 35 percent from the floor in the half, but that was better than
Detroit’s 33.9 percent and enough to take a slim 40-38 advantage
into the intermission.
The Warriors, though, scored 27 points in the first eight
minutes of the third. Thompson scored 14 points in the burst, and
Curry added nine. Thompson kept it going, finishing the period by
blocking Greg Monroe’s jumper from behind, then hitting a 3-pointer
to give Golden State a 79-61 advantage going into the fourth.
”A 39-point quarter is just unacceptable,” Frank said. ”We
let two really good shooters get comfortable, and you saw what
happened. We did too many things on both ends of the floor that
were nothing that we’ve ever rehearsed in practice.”
Thompson thought the run had more to do with Golden State’s
offensive pace than Detroit’s defense.
”We played their pace a little bit in the first half, but we
started playing at our tempo in the third quarter,” he said. ”We
got fast-break points and early offense. I was making shots and my
teammates kept finding me. I just played catch and shoot.”
Two dunks by Drummond got Detroit within 83-72, but Thompson
answered with a long jumper. Detroit appeared out of the game, but
the Pistons hit seven straight shots to pull within 98-95 with a
minute to play. Golden State, though, put the game away from the
free throw line.
”We didn’t do our best job of closing out that game – we have
to put the final nail in the coffin,” the Warriors’ Jarrett Jack
said. ”There are teams that are going to be able to come back when
we let them linger around.”
Notes: Knight, Singler and Stuckey were 0 for 9 in the first
half. … Wednesday marked the 90th birthday of William Davidson,
who owned the Pistons from 1974 until his death in 2009. Davidson
built the Palace of Auburn Hills, which opened in 1989, with
private funds. In 2004, his teams, the Pistons, Detroit Shock and
Tampa Bay Lightning, simultaneously held the NBA, WNBA and NHL
championships. Davidson’s son held a party at Wednesday’s game in
his father’s honor. One of the guests was Tom Wilson, former CEO of
Palace Sports and Entertainment, who now holds a similar job with
Mike Ilitch’s Olympia Entertainment.