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Pistons escape Chase with a win despite big performance from Warriors bench

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Saturday night’s was a game of opposites for the Warriors. Their usually steady starters were borderline unplayable, while the offensive firepower from their shallow bench kept them alive.

The Golden State bench scored 77 of 104 total points, but it wasn’t enough to topple the Detroit Pistons (13-23), who pulled out a 111-104 win.

This story has been updated with quotes and post-game material from the Warriors locker room at Chase Center.

Damion Lee was the only starter to break double-figures, with 14 points, while the other four combined to shoot an abysmal 4-of-23 from the field.

It was a particularly rough night for the former Piston Glenn Robinson III who didn’t hit his first shot until three minutes to go in the game.

Whiles he’s enjoying a career renaissance with the Warriors, you could tell by the way he’s talked about last season that he had something to prove to his former team. That probably led to him pressing a bit, as he launched some tough looks that took him out of rhythm to start.

The Warriors have shown a feistiness when matched up with more talented teams. But with the almost equally talentless Pistons, that energy was nowhere to be found. Chase Center was sleepy and the on-court energy was just as lethargic.

So, it really came as no surprise when Draymond Green decided to get thrown out in the third quarter. These types of games are almost more painful for him than losing as it was reminiscent of a preseason game, especially after experiencing the recent four-game win streak.

Steve Kerr said that Green looks tired and that rest might be coming for him:

“I think last couple games he’s looked tired. We have to remember, he’s the lone guy from those the group that’s been to the Finals five years in a row. I’ve been trying to get him a night off here and there, and we probably need to do that. I think he’s just gotten worn out emotionally.”

The bench picked up most of the slack, though. Omari Spellman was the hot hand with 14 points in just eight first-half minutes, going a perfect 5-of-5 from the field and 3-of-3 from downtown.

Spellman said that the bench is a close group of guys that just try to come in with energy:

“Oh, we’re just a tight-knit unit that’s committed to coming out and bringing energy. When we come in, we just want to set the tone, get after it and play aggressive, and we did. AB getting into it as usual and I just wanted to chip in.”

He finished with a career high 23 points in 20 impactful minutes. He’s now scored in double figures in both his games this new year, which equals his double-figure scoring games for the entire month of December.

He was joined by the usual steady hand of Alec Burks who also had 14 in the first half and as a team the Warriors got 46 points from their bench, easily outscoring the Pistons 20.

Burks led the way with 27, and shot a perfect 14-of-14 from the free throw line. His offense kept the Warriors within striking distance despite the team shooting less than 30 percent in the second half.

It also didn’t hurt that the Pistons refused to take care of the ball, committing 21 turnovers which led directly to 26 Warriors points.

But Derrick Rose took over down the stretch with 22 points. The Pistons had their closer, while the Warriors had no one. They had just three players score in double-figures, which just wasn’t enough to get a win in the new year.

Up Next

A short trip up I-80 to Golden 1 Center awaits the Warriors, where they’ll take on the Kings Monday for a quick one-game road trip.

Notes

Eric Paschall looked to finally be over his hip injury, as he logged 19 minutes, which is the first time he’s been able to string together three straight games of at least 18 minutes played since December 9.


Curtis Uemura is SFBay’s Golden State Warriors beat writer. Follow @SFBay and @CUemura on Twitter and at SFBay.ca for full coverage of Warriors basketball.

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