The Detroit Pistons nearly overcame the absence of numerous starters and second unit players on Tuesday. The final result was another loss, their ninth in a row.
They’ll look to end the slide when they host the Charlotte Hornets on Thursday night.
Their home game against Washington was tied in the final minute, but the Pistons allowed two costly offensive rebounds and the Wizards won 119-117 on Daniel Gafford’s putback at the buzzer.
It was Detroit’s sixth loss by six or fewer points during the current skid.
“Everyone looks at the last play, but there were a lot of plays before that,” Pistons coach Dwane Casey said. “I applaud those guys for fighting that hard against a team trying to make the playoffs. A lot of them weren’t here two weeks ago, and they are still figuring out how to play together.”
Detroit’s injured list included leading scorer Bojan Bogdanovic (Achilles), Alec Burks (foot), Jalen Duren (ankle), Killian Hayes (hand), Hamidou Diallo (ankle) and Isaiah Stewart (hip). Franchise player Cade Cunningham suffered a season-ending shin injury in November.
Diallo will miss the remainder of the season after spraining his ankle in a loss to Portland on Monday.
“He brings so much energy to the game,” Casey said. “That’s what we’ll miss.”
Rookie guard Jaden Ivey kept the Pistons close with 26 points and 12 assists. James Wiseman, who was acquired at last month’s trade deadline, had 21 points.
Eugene Omoruyi, who is playing on a 10-day contract, contributed 15 points and six rebounds. R.J. Hampton, who signed with the team on Feb. 23 after being waived by Orlando, added 11 points.
The last time Detroit celebrated a victory was Feb. 10, when it defeated San Antonio in double overtime. The Pistons are 2-12 since the beginning of February, with the other victory coming against the Hornets.
Ivey had 24 points in that 118-112 home win. Charlotte avenged that loss on Feb. 27, as the Hornets won on their home floor 117-106. Hornets point guard LaMelo Ball suffered a right ankle fracture that night.
Overall, Detroit leads the season series 2-1.
Charlotte ended a three-game losing streak and halted the New York Knicks’ nine-game winning streak on Tuesday. Kelly Oubre Jr. had 27 points in the Hornets’ 112-105 triumph.
“We had been improving a lot offensively and then LaMelo got hurt and we have struggled in the games without him. (Tuesday) I felt like we were a lot better,” Hornets coach Steve Clifford said. “Our ball movement was better, we had more of a balanced offense.”
Charlotte outscored the Knicks 62-39 in the second half. The Hornets also got big games from Terry Rozier, who supplied 25 points and seven assists, and Gordon Hayward, who racked up 23 points, nine rebounds and eight assists.
Charlotte had 27 assists, compared to 12 turnovers.
“We talked about it at halftime. We felt like we were playing hard — we just weren’t playing smart,” Hayward said. “We weren’t executing exactly what we wanted to do. So, I thought we locked in a little bit more, especially down the stretch. We were in our positions, executing our defensive game. We were able to get some stops and score on the other end.”
–Field Level Media