The Pistons got their first look at “The Process” tonight against the Philadelphia 76’ers at Little Caesars Arena. The Sixers jumped out to an early lead with Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons leading the way.
This is the third game where Detroit faced an early deficit. Despite being down 21 points in the first half, the Pistons trimmed the lead to 6 points in the 3rd quarter and were within 4 late in the 4th quarter. However, poor shooting and outstanding individual performances from the Sixers were too much for the Pistons to overcome as they fell 97-86.
Despite being drafted in 2014, this was Detroit’s first look at Joel Embiid. It was worth the wait as he scored 30 points in 28 minutes on 11-15 shooting, adding 9 rebounds and 2 steals. The Pistons defense was active on Embiid forcing 7 turnovers. Ben Simmons also played his first game against the Pistons after sitting out last season. The Oscar Robertson and Magic Johnson comparisons will continue after he posted his first career triple double, with 21 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists. Robert Covington chipped in 13 points, and former Piston Amir Johnson had 9 rebounds off the bench.
The Pistons were led by Andre Drummond’s 14 point/14 rebound/4 steal effort. Reggie Jackson led the Pistons in scoring with 16 points, which he combined with 7 assists and 6 rebounds. Avery Bradley added 15 points.
Tobias Harris cooled off after a hot start to the season with 11 points on 5 of 16 shooting. Poor shooting was the story of the evening as the Pistons went 6-30 from behind the 3 point arc and 33 for 85 overall. It looked like the Pistons were heating up, with Tolliver hitting the 3 point shot to put them within 4 points early in the 4th quarter. That was as close as the Pistons could get, as the Sixers eventually pulled away and extended their lead back to double digits.
Notes: The Pistons fall to 2-2 and lose their first game at Little Caesars Arena, falling to 1-1 in the new arena. The Sixers win their first game of the season and improve to 1-3. The Pistons next game is at home Wednesday against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Langston Galloway was bloodied when he banged bodies with Embiid. The Pistons were forced to call time out after Langston’s head began bleeding. He was able to stay in the game.
Ben Simmons first career triple double is also the first triple double recorded at Little Caesars Arena.