Note: This post originally appeared on MavsFanatic.com
DALLAS, TX — Looking to extend their six game win streak, who would have thought that the (12-23) Detroit Pistons were the team the Mavs were going to have to worry about. Since their highly publicized release of Josh Smith, the Pistons have been undefeated, enjoying a six game win streak of their own. The past six games, the Pistons looked like a completely different team without Smith there to clog up shots on the offensive end of the floor and tonight was no different.
Despite playing on the second night of a back-to-back after a late game winner by Brandon Jennings to seal the win over San Antonio Spurs, the Pistons out jumped out to an early 12-4 lead on the Mavs tonight. The sluggish Mavs came out with low energy and hustle on both ends of the floor and continued to play catch up throughout the entire first half. Rebounding proved to the key statistic in tonight’s game as the Mavs battled on the boards all night against Detroit big men Andre Drummond (13.2 RPG) and Greg Monroe (9.1 RPG), who were able to outrebound the entire Mavs team in the first quarter, 11-6. The Pistons took a 31-26 lead in the second quarter behind 11 points from Drummond and 48.1% shooting as a team while holding the Mavs to just 48.2% shooting. In the second half the Mavs tightened up the screws on the defensive ended, limiting the Pistons to 40 percent shooting by the end of the half. Offensively the Mavs were held together by Harris and Parsons who finished the first half with 10 and 9 points, respectively. However, the Mavs were carelessness with the ball led to 10 first half turnovers and went into halftime trailing 54-49.
Making a Comeback
In the second half, the Mavs continued to scramble on the defensive end, despite not getting much lift from the crowd at the American Airlines Center. The Mavs continued to struggle protecting the ball on the offensive end with turnovers leading to opportunities for the Pistons, who were equally careless with the ball. Going into the fourth quarter the Mavs trailed the Pistons 74-68, despite Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond having a combined 28 points and 41 rebounds, while shooting 40.9 percent as a team. Five minutes into the fourth quarter, the Pistons had their biggest lead of the game up 89-77 and would eventually push that lead to fifteen points. The Mavs continued to fight back, but it was too little, too late as they fell to the Pistons 108-95. The story of game of the Mavs lack of energy and hustle throughout, while being dominated on the boards 60-43. They were continuously careless with the ball, finishing the game with 14 turnovers. After the game Rick Carlisle said the Pistons were playing like one of the best teams in the NBA and tonight they proved just that. The Mavs will now hit the road for a three-game road trip beginning with the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday.
Photo Credit: InTheMomentPics