For most teams a 21-4 advantage in the first quarter would probably translate into a win or at the very least a lead at halftime.
This was exactly the case for the Pistons Tuesday night as they jumped out to an early 21-4 lead in the first quarter dominating in all aspects. However a second quarter in which Detroit got outscored 31-17 translating to a 48-42 disadvantage at the half eventually led to the Pistons’ downfall and a 101-94 loss at the hands of the Nuggets.
“We got off to a great start. You’re not going to win a game 150 to 14. The key is when they made their run, even the last four minutes of the first quarter, the key is that a team is going to make a run, it’s the mistakes we made and how they got them. With that, the mistakes multiplied and came in succession, so they become a little bit deflating. This game is about resolve and mental toughness. It’s a six-point game at half, a six-point game at the end of the third quarter, and then we cut it to two, and at the end of the day in the fourth quarter we could not control the penetration off of the pick-and-roll. It’s a game of runs; we just didn’t have enough to get it done.”
Brandon Knight had 20 points and five assists for the Pistons while Jason Maxiell added 18 points, six blocks and six rebounds. Rodney Stuckey scored 17 points off the bench in the loss.
The Pistons were also once again ineffective coming out of the half as the Nuggets maintained control for the vast majority of the final two quarters.
Ty Lawson hit a driving floater at the end of the third quarter to give the Nuggets a 72-66 lead. Lawson also proved effective at then end of the fourth quarter essentially sealing things for the Nuggets as he hit a late layup to push Denver’s lead to 98-89 with 1:15 remaining.
h/t: Detroit Free Press, NBA.com