The two-way execution woes for the Oklahoma City Thunder continued opposite the Andre Drummond-less Detroit Pistons. Following an unexpected 6-1 start, the reeling Thunder have now dropped four-consecutive contests.
Detroit’s 104-88 home victory was buttressed by the strong frontline production of Tobias Harris (22 points, 6 rebounds) and reserve center Aron Baynes (20 points, 8 rebounds). Other Pistons to reach twin-figure scoring include: Kentavious Caldwell Pope (17), Ish Smith (11), and Beno Udrih (10).
Overall, the Pistons (6-5) shot 46% from the field, while assisting on 25-of-43 made field-goal attempts. Detroit’s stifling defense limited the Thunder to just 18% shooting from beyond the arc —and 37% total.
On the evening, Oklahoma City received another superb individual effort from Russell Westbrook (33 points, 15 rebounds, 8 assists). Meanwhile, Jerami Grant (11 points) and Enes Kanter (10) attempted to support their superstar’s cause. However, these contributions could not overcome a rocky 13-of-50 effort from the rest of the Thunder.
To compound matters, vital cogs Steven Adams, Victor Oladipo, and Domantas Sabonis misfired to the tune of 6-of-25 combined shooting. As a team, Oklahoma City committed 15 costly turnovers and 21 personal fouls.
Roberson: "We started out 6-1. It’s slapping us in the face now. It’s just a reminder you’ve gotta bring it on every given night."— Fred Katz (@FredKatz) November 15, 2016
While Westbrook shouldered the offensive load, his seven turnovers epitomized a recurring theme of inept Thunder ball handling. Detroit capitalized from these costly mistakes time and again.
The Thunder’s defensive breakdown amid an 0-4 stretch has seen the once-reliable unit surrender 110.7 ppg to their last four opponents. Opposite Detroit, Oklahoma City found itself mired in a 59-47 halftime hole. Though Billy Donovan’s troops exhibited renewed second-half defensive vigor, the offense faltered, generating just 41 points in the final 24 minutes.
With the losses mounting, a conflicted OKC unit will look to reclaim its winning ways in a Nov. 16 home return vs. Houston.