Pistons, Pelicans a duel of NBA’s cellar-dwellers

NBA Basketball

The Detroit Pistons and the New Orleans Pelicans have a lot in common.

They have had two of the worst records in the NBA all season; both are coming off disappointing overtime losses at home Wednesday night; and they own the fewest wins in their respective conferences as they prepare to meet Friday in New Orleans.

The Pistons, who have just four wins, lost their 10th straight game when they fell to the Wizards 119-116 as Kyle Kuzma hit a tie-breaking 3-pointer with 0.6 seconds left in overtime.

The Pelicans, who have won just seven games, couldn’t contain Nikola Jokic as he had a triple-double and scored 11 points in the extra period of the Nuggets’ 120-114 victory.

New Orleans committed 25 turnovers, leading to 31 points for the Nuggets, and scored just nine points off 12 Denver turnovers.

“Turnovers just were too much to overcome,” Pelicans coach Willie Green said. “I thought our guys fought and competed. We did a lot to win the game. We just came up short down the stretch.

“Unfortunately, it just wasn’t enough. Especially with 31 points off of our turnovers, that’s a lot to overcome with our team, especially a good team like the Nuggets.”

Brandon Ingram, the Pelicans’ leading scorer, didn’t have any of his 16 points in overtime.

“I think in overtime is where I’ve got to be more aggressive,” Ingram said. “I have to make the adjustment and find a way to help out our team.”

The Pistons rallied from a 13-point deficit midway through the fourth quarter to force overtime, but came up short once again.

“It’s tough to lose, especially these ones,” said Frank Jackson, who had 19 points and made five of seven 3-pointers. “I felt like our effort was there. … It’s been a tough stretch of games.”

Detroit hasn’t won since beating Indiana 97-89 at home on Nov. 17.

“There’s no participation awards, which is what I always say at the end of the game,” Pistons coach Dwane Casey said. “I’m just proud of the way the guys competed and fought, but at the end of the day, it’s still on the bad side.”

Rookie Cade Cunningham, who made just four of 16 field-goal attempts through four quarters, scored the Pistons’ last eight points of overtime, tying the score before Kuzma’s game-winner. He had 21 points and Jerami Grant led Detroit with 28.

“It was great to see, because at the end of the game in the NBA, you’ve got to have somebody that can go create their own shot,” Casey said. “I thought Cade did that and Jerami did that. Both men created their own shots because you’re going to see their best defense. You’re not going to trick the defense at the end of the game like that.”

But the Pistons were outscored 52-38 in the paint and were beaten 13-7 on the offensive glass.

“We’ve got to keep building and keep stacking those chips,” said Hamidou Diallo, who scored 12 points off the bench. “We keep showing it in spurts, but soon we’ve got to turn that chapter and be able to pull out those tough wins.”

–Field Level Media

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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