The Pistons survived a Russell Westbrook triple double and a 15 point second half deficit tonight in Oklahoma City.
It was all Thunder in the first half, as they out rebounded the Pistons 26-13 overall and 7-2 on the offensive glass. The Pistons bench kept them in the game with Ish Smith scoring 11 and Anthony Tolliver scoring 8. The Thunder led by 10 at the half.
In the third quarter the deficit swelled to as many as 15 before a pair of 7-0 runs helped the Pistons cut the lead to 4. Langston Gallaway opened the 4th quarter with a pair of 3’s to tie the game at 79. Neither team lead by more than 4 in the 4th quarter.
Reggie Jackson hit two critical free throws to take the lead a final time with 34 seconds left. Russell Westbrook’s 3 point attempt with under 3 seconds left missed and the Pistons escaped Oklahoma City with a 99-98 victory.
Poor shooting by Oklahoma City and a more active Pistons team on the boards helped secure the road win. Detroit outshot the Thunder from behind the 3 point line, 14-37 versus 7-30. All Pistons starters scored in double figures. The Pistons bench also came up big, outscoring their counterparts 35-13.
Andre Drummond led the Pistons with 17 points, 14 rebounds and 3 assists. Ish Smith had 15 points, 4 assists, and 3 rebounds off the bench. Tobias Harris added 13 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists. Oklahoma City was led by Russell Westbrook’s triple double. He had 27 points, 11 assists, 11 rebounds, and 3 steals. However, he shot 10-29 from the field and had 5 turnovers. Carmelo Anthony had 20 points on 9-24 shooting with 8 rebounds and 3 assists. Paul George had 16 points and 5 steals.
Notes: The Pistons improved to 12-6 on the season and 5-4 on the road. The next game is Monday in Boston against the Eastern Conference leading Celtics. Ish Smith had a season high of 2 blocks. He had 2 blocks in 2017-18 coming into this game.