Warriors 105, Pistons 97
David Lee has been able to do something this March that he
rarely has for most of his eight-year NBA career: watch what is
happening around the league with a vested interest in the
Even mundane days like Wednesday can turn into big nights.
The All-Star forward tuned into other games in the afternoon,
helped the Golden State Warriors grind out a 105-97 victory over
the Detroit Pistons and returned to his locker to see what went
down while he had been on the court.
”I’ve been on a lot of teams where you’re waiting for the
season to be over,” said Lee, who had 20 points, 15 rebounds and
five assists. ”It doesn’t matter what else is going on because
you’re not in any kind of race. That’s why this time of year is
exciting and we’re going to make the most of it.”
Stephen Curry had 31 points and eight assists, and Jarrett Jack
finished with 19 points and five assists off the bench to make sure
the Warriors avoided a monumental setback. They improved to 4-2 on
their season-high, seven-game homestand, which ends Friday against
Chicago, and remained 1 1/2 games ahead of Houston for sixth place
in the Western Conference.
Among the other news Golden State learned: The Los Angeles
Lakers (34-32) lost 96-92 at Atlanta to fall three games behind the
Warriors and stayed in the eighth and final playoff spot. The
Lakers also lost star Kobe Bryant to a severely sprained left
ankle. He is out indefinitely.
”We can just say we’re worried about ourselves,” said Lee, who
has never been to the playoffs. ”But all these other games do
Not so much in Motown these days.
Rodney Stuckey scored 22 points and Kyle Singler had 16 in
Detroit’s seventh straight loss. Reserve Will Bynum added 16 points
to help fill the void left by Brandon Knight, who sat out with a
sprained left ankle.
Detroit now has had losing streaks of six (from Dec. 11-19),
seven (presently) and eight (Oct. 31 to Nov. 12) games this
”The beginning of the game disappointed me the most because
those first six possessions that they scored on, we made basically
game-plan mistakes or just a lack of effort,” said Pistons
assistant coach Brian Hill, who is filling in while Lawrence Frank
is attending to a family matter. ”From that point on, I thought we
played hard and I thought we played pretty well.”
A seemingly one-sided matchup hardly looked like it for most of
After crushing the New York Knicks 92-63 on Monday, Golden
State’s co-captains carried the Warriors through a game the team
often looked lethargic and uninterested. Curry was 5 of 7 from
3-point range, and Lee had another strong performance while wearing
a white wrap around his bruised left knee.
The Warriors outshot the Pistons 57 to 45 percent.
Curry connected on a corner 3-pointer, then hit another to cap a
15-5 run in the first 3:02. The crafty point guard swished a short
jumper later in the first quarter to give Golden State a 23-11 lead
that seemingly had them running away with another blowout win.
Instead, the Warriors relaxed and the Pistons piled up
Stuckey stole a pass from Lee that led to a put-back layup from
Bynum on the other end to put Detroit ahead by three. With the
shot-clock winding down, Curry made his fourth 3-pointer to tie the
score at 50 at the half.
”I was upset because I understand what it takes to win in this
league,” Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. ”It’s not easy, no
matter whom you’re facing. I wanted to put them away when we could
and not give them life.”
Curry led the charge again in the third quarter, tossing in a
pair of high-arcing finger rolls and assisting on some even
higher-elevation dunks by Harrison Barnes, who had 13 points on
6-of-7 shooting. Curry later hit his fifth 3-pointer and made two
free throws to put the Warriors up 80-68.
The pesky Pistons put up a fight until the end.
Bynum’s pull-up shot sliced Golden State’s lead to four midway
through the fourth quarter. Jack answered with a jumper and a pair
of free throws, and Klay Thompson’s reverse layup put the Warriors
in front 96-86 with 4:27 remaining.
Detroit briefly fouled center Andrew Bogut walking up the floor.
He made 1 of 2 free throws before Bynum hit another shot to bring
the Pistons within six.
Then Curry split two defenders off a pick-and-roll by dribbling
through his legs. He stopped in the lane and swished in a floater
that put the Warriors ahead 102-94 to cement the victory.
”It was a lot of ins and outs,” Bynum said, ”but defensively
we still have to be a whole lot better.”
NOTES: Warriors F Draymond Green sprained his left ankle in the
first half and didn’t return. He is day to day. … Jackson, also
an undersized guard who was infamously dunked on by Tom Chambers in
1989, applauded Knight’s efforts for trying to stop Clippers C
DeAndre Jordan’s viral alley-oop in Detroit’s loss at Los Angeles
on Sunday. ”I see people making jokes about it, but as a coach,
you want him on your team,” Jackson said.