Pistons run out of gas, can't stop Pelicans' Williamson in 128-118 loss in New Orleans

Rod Beard, The Detroit News on

Published in Basketball

After a gutsy bounce-back performance against the Orlando Magic on Tuesday night, expecting the Pistons to still have some juice left on the second night of a back-to-back was a little wishful thinking.

Actually, they did.

But only for three quarters.

The Pistons hung in for most of the game, but they fell short in the final period, and the New Orleans Pelicans pulled away for a 128-118 victory on Wednesday night at Smoothie King Center.

Without leading scorer Jerami Grant, who sat out to rest for the first time this season, the Pistons had to find other sources for offense, and they got it. Josh Jackson had 25 points and six rebounds, Mason Plumlee 21 points, nine rebounds, seven assists and four blocks and Saben Lee and Saddiq Bey added 13 points each for the Pistons (9-23).


It was another strong performance for the point guards, as Lee and Dennis Smith Jr. combined for 24 points and 10 assists.

The Pistons didn’t have an answer for the Pelicans’ combination of All-Star forwards in Zion Williamson (32 points, six rebounds, five assists) and Brandon Ingram (27 points, seven rebounds, eight assists) for the Pelicans (14-17).

With the game tied at 96 entering the fourth quarter, the Pelicans got a pair of 3-pointers early in the period and took a 104-100 lead, but Lee responded with a steal and lay-in. The Pelicans pulled away and the Pistons seemed to run out of gas. Their 7-0 run midway through the fourth helped seal the win.

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