The Detroit Pistons had a busy week, facing off against the Houston Rockets, Cleveland Cavaliers and Orlando Magic.
Detroit hosted the Rockets on Saturday, where the matchup to watch was Andre Drummond against Dwight Howard. Early on, it was clear who was the better player, as Howard put up 14 points in the first quarter and forced Drummond out of the game.
Howard finished the game with 35 points and 19 rebounds, while Drummond finished with nine points and six rebounds.
The Rockets were without superstar James Harden, but that did not faze them, as Houston still managed to score 114 points. That ended up being more than enough, as they would end up beating Detroit 114-97.
On Monday, the Pistons went on the road to Cleveland to face off against the division rival Cavaliers. Detroit played one of their best games of the season, playing well on both sides of the basketball. Led by Josh Smith, the Pistons outscored Cleveland by 10 points in the first quarter and eight points in the second quarter. Smith finished with 25 points and eight rebounds.
Luigi Datome came off the bench and shined, providing coach Maurice Cheeks with 13 points and four rebounds in 17 minutes.
The brightest part of the game for Detroit was their defense against Kyrie Irving. The team collectively shut down the all-star forward, allowing him only 21 points and seven rebounds.
With the win, Detroit moved to 14-16 on the season.
Finally on Friday night, the Pistons continued their road trip to Orlando to go head-to-head against the Magic. This game saw more of the same from the matchup against the Rockets, where Detroit was never in contention.
The Magic were led by former Piston, Arron Afflalo, who scored 23 points. This was one of the Pistons’ worst losses of the season, as Orlando ranks near the bottom of the league.
Brandon Jennings was the only Piston who saw double-digit playing time, managing to score 21 points and dish out eight assists. This was a rough way to come back from the Christmas break, and the loss brings Detroit to 14-17 on the season.
The Pistons have lost three out of their last four games, but look to salvage that record when they start a home-and-home against the Wizards in Washington on Saturday night. The game starts at 7 p.m. and can be seen on Fox Sports Detroit.
Cameron Billes is the host of Horsepower for Impact Sports.