The Pistons finished their road trip tonight in Minnesota. The Pistons won their first meeting at Little Caesars Arena, but tonight the Timberwolves were at full strength with Jimmy Butler back in the lineup.
Detroit was sluggish early, and was down as many as 9 in the first quarter. 6 points by Avery Bradley helped keep the game close as the Pistons cut the lead to 2 to end the 1st. The game remained close throughout the first half, with a Jimmy Butler jumper at the buzzer giving the Timberwolves a 4 point half time lead.
Butler continued his hot shooting in the 3rd quarter scoring 12 points and helping the Timberwolves open up their first double digit lead of the evening. But a balanced Pistons attack proved too much for Minnesota. All 5 Pistons starters scored in double digits. The Pistons offense and a combination of poor shooting and turnovers for Minnesota helped the Pistons reduce the deficit. Detroit retook the lead on a Reggie Jackson bucket with 1:26 remaining. Jackson had 9 points in the quarter, and 6 clutch points in the final minute and a half. An Avery Bradley foul with 6 seconds remaining gave the Timberwolves a chance to tie, but Jimmy Butler could only make 2 out of 3 free throws. He missed the third and Tobias Harris came up with the rebound and made both of his free throws. Jimmy Butlers last second shot missed and the Pistons came away with a 100-97 victory.
The Pistons were led by Andre Drummond’s 20 points, 16 rebounds (9 offensive), 4 assists and 2 blocks. Tobias Harris had 18 points and 9 rebounds. Reggie Jackson had 16 points and 8 assists. Ish Smith added 9 points and 5 assists off the bench. The Timberwolves were led by Jimmy Butler’s 26 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists and 5 steals. Andrew Wiggins had 24 points, 3 blocks and 2 steals.
Notes: The Pistons improved to 11-5 on the season and 4-4 on the road. They finished this road trip 1-2 and head home tomorrow to play the Cavaliers. Andre Drummond continued his streak of games with 12 or more rebounds.