NBA Basketball

114
Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
Oklahoma City 28 22 22 42 114
Detroit 37 26 18 22 103
103
4:00 PM PT5:00 PM MT6:00 PM CT7:00 PM ET0:00 GMT8:00 5:00 PM MST7:00 PM EST4:00 UAE (+1)01:0019:00 ET6:00 PM CT22:00 , December 6, 2021
Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, Michigan  Attendance: 10,522

Pistons, Thunder both riding 8-game losing streaks

According to STATS
According to STATS

Oklahoma City Thunder at Detroit Pistons

  1. The Pistons won both games against the Thunder last season by a combined 30 points. It was the first time they swept the season series since 2007-08, when OKC was still the Seattle SuperSonics.
  2. The Thunder lost by 73 points to the Grizzlies last Thursday, 152-79, the largest margin of defeat in NBA history. Every player that played had a -18 plus-minus or worse, and Jeremiah Robinson-Earl's -56 plus-minus is the second-lowest total since the statistic was first tracked in 2002-03 (Cleveland's Manny Harris, -57 in January 2011 vs. LAL).
  3. Oklahoma City has lost 26 of the last 28 games with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander out of the lineup, getting outscored by 20.7 points on average. SGA is set to return to play tonight after being in the league's concussion protocols last week.
  4. The Pistons have dropped eight in a row after losing to the Suns last Thursday, 114-103. Detroit hasn't lost nine straight games in a single season since losing 10 consecutive in February-March 2015.
  5. Jerami Grant led all scorers with 34 points against the Suns, his 13th 30-point game in a Pistons uniform. The Pistons have gone just 3-10 in those games, the worst team record by any player in 30-point games since last season (minimum 10 such games).
  6. Detroit's bench combined for just 20 points on 28.6% shooting in the loss to Phoenix, their second lowest bench scoring output of the season (19 on 10/25 vs. Atlanta). The Pistons' bench is still averaging 39.7 points per game, second most in the NBA (Spurs -- 40.0).

A game of Crazy Eights will be played in Detroit on Monday night. The victor will discard a long losing streak.

Oklahoma City and Detroit carry eight-game skids into their matchup. The Thunder were historically bad in their last outing, losing by an NBA-record 73 points to Memphis on Thursday. The Pistons' most recent game was also on Thursday, when they fell to Phoenix by 11 points.

Thunder coach Mark Daigneault decided not to hammer his players after their 152-79 loss, eschewing the usual film breakdown session.

"The lessons that you want the team to take from that game are self-explanatory," Daigneault said. "I didn't see a need to double down on that. The feeling that you would try to generate with the film already exists. Letting it breathe I think is almost more powerful than to dwell on the actual visuals of it."

It's easy enough for his team to visualize the embarrassment without seeing a replay.

Even though the Grizzlies didn't have top player Ja Morant due to injury, they shot 62.5 percent for the game and scored 82 points in the paint. Memphis had 29 fastbreak points and outrebounded the Thunder, 53-26.

"That's going to stay in our head for a long time," Thunder guard Lu Dort said. "We've just got to move on, regroup and look ahead to the next game."

It's hard to recall that Oklahoma City was hovering near the .500 mark before the slide started with a seven-point loss to defending champion Milwaukee. All but two of the losses were by single-digit margins until Thursday night's eyesore.

Top scorer Shai Gilgeous-Alexander entered the league's concussion protocol prior to the game after scoring 39 points against Houston the previous night. It's uncertain whether he'll play on Monday.

Detroit has only won four games this season. Its current slide began with three home losses. The Pistons then came up empty on a five-game road trip.

Coach Dwane Casey was encouraged that his young backcourt of rookie Cade Cunningham and second-year lottery pick Killian Hayes appear to be meshing. They combined for 29 points, eight rebounds and eight assists in the 114-103 loss to the Suns.

"They play off each other. They're good for each other," Casey said. "They're doing a great job of playing off each other and that's something Pistons fans should get used to for a long time."

Cunningham, the No. 1 pick in the draft, is averaging 20.0 points over the last three games. However, he's also committed 16 turnovers during that stretch.

"He's getting better every game," forward Jerami Grant said. "Getting more experience and he's learning, picking his spots -- when to be aggressive and when to move the ball."

Grant has been the main offensive threat during the losing streak, averaging 23.6 points. He had 34 points on Thursday.

The team's other starting forward, Saddiq Bey, has gone into a shooting slump. He's shot 23.1 percent (9 of 39) from the field in the last four games, failing to reach double-digit points each time.

The Pistons are beginning a stretch where they play five of eight games at home. Oklahoma City will make a stop in Toronto on Wednesday before returning home for four games.

--Field Level Media

Updated December 5, 2021

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