Late turnovers hurt Pistons in loss to Trail Blazers

Cade Cunningham Trail Blazers Pistons Basketball
Posted at 10:34 PM, Mar 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-21 22:34:59-04

DETROIT (AP) — Brandon Williams scored 23 points and Ben McLemore added 21 as the patchwork Portland Trail Blazers ended a four-game losing streak with a 119-115 win over the Detroit Pistons on Monday night.

Detroit, which trailed by 23 points in the third period, took a 106-105 lead on Luka Garza’s free throw with 5:02 to play before Portland responded with a 7-2 run.

Cade Cunningham had two key turnovers down the stretch, and Brandon Williams’ layup put the Trail Blazers up 116-112 with 47.8 seconds to go.

The Pistons turned the ball over, and although Kris Dunn missed a 3-pointer, Justise Winslow got the rebound and Williams made it 118-112 with two free throws.

The teams combined for an NBA season-high 90 free throws.

Portland, which was coming off a 129-98 loss to Indiana on Sunday, had lost 10 of 11 and was missing its top seven scorers this season.

Cunningham and Saddiq Bey scored 25 apiece for the Pistons, who lost for the sixth time in seven games.

The Trail Blazers didn’t look like a tired team in the first half, leading by as many as 17 points on their way to a 67-52 advantage at the intermission. Portland outshot Detroit 53.5% to 34.8%, including 42.9% to 11.1% on 3-pointers. McLemore had 16 points, including four 3-pointers.

Portland pushed its lead to 23 points at 79-56 early in the third quarter. Detroit finally started getting some stops, and closed within 95-88 entering the fourth.


Blazers: Portland coach Chauncey Billups, whose No. 1 jersey hangs from the rafters at Little Caesars Arena near the 2004 NBA championship banner he helped win, paid tribute to longtime Pistons broadcaster George Blaha. Blaha, who joined the team in 1976, will miss the rest of the season after heart surgery. “I just want to send my love to one of the best to ever do it. I hate that I’m not going to be able to see him today and give him a big squeeze.”

Pistons: The teams joined arms before the game to honor the victims of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and a local choir performed the Ukrainian national anthem.


Trail Blazers: Host the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday.

Pistons: Host the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday.