Looking to avenge their first loss of the regular season, Antonio McDyess and the Detroit Pistons hosted the undefeated Los Angeles Clippers Friday night.
A first half lead saw home-side Pistons up by as many as 20 points, but the Clips, thanks mostly to Chris Kaman, made their best effort to stay in the game. Unfortunately for Clippers fans, by the time the third period rolled around, staying in the game was no longer an option. The final score read 103-79, Pistons.
A brilliant performance from Chauncey Billups in the third quarter helped seal the deal for Detroit. Billups, after laying low throughout the first half, nailed 4 three pointers in the third quarter alone en route to 23 points in the game.
But it was Antonio McDyess’ flawless start out of the gates that powered the Pistons’ successful showing in the first half. Over the outstretched hands of a frustrated Chris Kaman, Dice nailed all of his first seven attempts from the field. Even more impressive though, is the fact that he did it all from the outside. Whether it be fading away along the baseline, or draining from outside the free-throw circle, Dice made his mark, both quickly and precisely, and finished the game with 14.
Just one day removed from a heroic performance from Rasheed Wallace, McDyess’ offensive display, combined with Billups’ three-point rampage is a testament to the depth that Flip Saunders hopes to coattail throughout the season and into the playoffs.
One of the few bright spots for Los Angeles was the continued emergence of big man Chris Kaman. A scrappy Kaman bullied his way into the post, pounding his way through an undersized McDyess and a battle-shy Nazr Mohammed. Capitalizing on his ability to get himself in scoring position down low, Kaman finished with 25 points, including 19 in the first half.
After breaking out to a 17-point lead at the end of the first half, the Pistons did much of the same in the second, at one point widening the gap to an impressive 30.
Energetic performances from Jason Maxiell in the first half and sparsely used Amir Johnson in the second kept this game exciting despite it’s lopsided result.
Johson, in his first game back from a pre-season sprained ankle, solidified his status as an NBA superprospect. Showing patience on offense and enough hustle to make Jerome Williams feel lazy, Johnson put in a solid fourth quarter of work.
Corey Maggette chipped in with 19 points for the Clippers, but there wasn’t much to be proud of in Clipperland as they finished just 35% from the field.
The game leaves both teams with matching records of 4-1. The Pistons are back in action on Sunday, Nov. 11 when they kick off a five-game West coast trip in Seattle, while the Clippers are at home against Cleveland.