Final: Pistons 95, Mavs 85
Box Score | Highlights
Behind the Box Score
The Pistons offense experienced a bizarre first quarter. Detroit made just 6 of 16 shots from the field, but was able to create five second-chance opportunities, thanks in large part to center Andre Drummond, who had 12 rebounds in the first quarter alone. But working against the Pistons even further was their penchant for offensive miscues; they turned it over eight times in the first quarter alone, too. So, while they created second chances, they also gave it away. The end result: just 17 points on 0.773 points per possession.
Dallas built a double-digit lead in the third quarter, but Detroit was able to gobble up the lead pretty quickly thanks to a big night from the team’s second unit. Every Pistons reserve had a positive plus-minus on the night. The Mavs had been shooting the ball very well from beyond the arc lately, but not enough of them fell tonight to erase the Pistons’ fourth-quarter lead. Now the team has a day to rest and fly to Utah for a one-game road trip.
This was the second consecutive game the Mavericks have struggled on the defensive glass. Denver grabbed 20 offensive boards on Monday night, and the Pistons followed up that performance by securing 10 of their own tonight, with many of those coming in the first half to keep the game close. Dallas has been one of the league’s better defensive rebounding teams in terms of percentage this season, so these past two performances have been a bit uncharacteristic. Playing without Andrew Bogut certainly is not doing the club any favors in that regard, although Salah Mejri and Dwight Powell are both capable in that department. Still, Dallas will need to find a way to make due without Bogut, and more often than not that will mean the guards and wings have to make firm commitments to attack the glass with enthusiasm to give the centers some help. The Mavs have to turn defensive rebounding into a five-man exercise. Unfortunately that could decrease the number of transition opportunities going the other way, but that’s a sacrifice a club has to make in order to make ends meet elsewhere.
While the Mavericks struggled on the boards, they excelled in other hustle areas, particularly steals and blocks. Mejri made one block in particular on the fast break that you’ll see a few times on your preferred sports highlights show.
For the night, Mejri finished with three blocks and two steals. As a team, the Mavs also recorded 13 steals. That’s a season-high mark for the club. Unfortunately, Mejri limped off the floor early in the fourth quarter and went the locker room after suffering a left ankle injury.
The Mavs (6-19) play the Utah Jazz (13-13) on Wednesday at Vivint Smart Home Arena at 9:30 p.m. Central.