DETROIT, MI – The Detroit Pistons lost to the Indiana Pacers 131-123 to extend the losing streak to twenty games. But they are aiming to maintain a positive mental space after another tough loss.

“As much as this losing hurts, Im encouraged by what I’ve seen,” coach Monty Williams said. “But believe me this does hurt.”

Rookie Ausar Thompson has tried to keep a positive attitude despite the losses, hoping to avoid sinking into a losing mindset.

”I try to come in everyday happy as I can, and go out there and play like we won a couple in a row.”

They opened the game with a 36-33 lead in the first quarter backed by energy, efficiency and sharing the basketball. It also helps when Cade Cunningham scores thirteen points in the games first twelve minutes. But the story of the Pistons season has been sustaining the effort for all four quarters.

The second quarter went as planned until the last few minutes with careless turnovers and less active defense from the home team. And the Pacers raced out to a 66-61 half time lead behind sixteen first half points from Benedict Mathurin, and eleven from Buddy Hield. They also limited Cunningham to two points in the quarter which also aided in the first half turnaround.

Cunningham picked it up a bit in the third quarter and the team kept pace with the Pacers ending the third still trailing by five points. The bench held serve while Cade and Bojan were able to rest the last few minutes of the third in preparation for the final frame.

”Our offense is built to generate shots, but some of our guys are just beginning to play (Livers and Bogdanovic),” Williams said. “We’re starting to figure out we can score.”

Fourth Quarter Woes Return

But the fourth quarter would be the one that saw the game get away from them. Like many other games this season the Pistons effort on offense and defense began to fade as the pressure began to rise. A five point lead ballooned to ten and deflated the the comeback attempt by the Pistons.

“Indiana is a really good team and they hit some tough shots,” I thought the way we closed at half time”

”Puts a lot of stress at the end of the game when you don’t take care of the ball during the meat of the game.”

The Pacers were led by Tyrese Haliburton’s fourteen points and sixteen assists, as he appeared on cruise control much of the night until the final quarter. He hit a three and followed that up with an and-one layup to effectively put the game out of reach with about 5 minutes left.

Benedict Mathurin followed up his good first half by closing the game with thirty points, seven rebounds and eight assists. It was two players many wanted as Detroit Pistons who ultimately sunk them in this game.

Cade Cunningham led the Pistons with twenty three points, six rebounds and six assists. And rookie Ausar Thompson chipped in twenty points, and six rebounds on 8 of 10 shooting. But for Thompson it wasn’t about how much he and the starters scored, but when they didn’t.

“We (starters) put the bench in a bad position not maintaining the runs,” Thompson said. “But I feel like we can build off this. We had some defensive errors but still held on until the end, and nobody gave up.”

Aside from practice and playing hard, the Pistons hope to maintain a positive outlook as they search for the win to break the losing streak.

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By Published On: December 11th, 2023Categories: Detroit Pistons, NBA, Podcasts

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