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Pistons 85 (5 Pts) Grizzlies 82 (3 Pts)
Detroit improved to 2-0 in Orlando, taking five of the eight available points, winning the contest on the back of a massive third quarter victory. The Pistons outscored the Grizzlies 30-20 in the third frame, erasing a five point halftime deficit and surviving a late push that brought Memphis within three in the waning seconds. The Pistons received yet another spectacular performance from KCP, as he scored 30 points on 10-20 shooting from the field and pulled in a game-high 12 rebounds. Caldwell-Pope remained aggressive, picking up right where he left off on Saturday, with 14 points in the first quarter. The method was the same, as KCP used his body to create space, and used his length, quickness and ball-handling to get to the rim. Two games is far from a large sample size, but KCP appears to have already added a lot to his game this summer. I'm writing this while the OKC-Philly game is going on, but it's hard to see anybody outplaying him today, yet again.
The Pistons also got another solid performance from Peyton Siva, who again played within himself and managed the pace of the game well. He notched 12 points (6-12 fg, 0-4 3p) and 7 assists, to go with two steals and only two turnovers. Siva didn't make any trips to the free throw line a day after taking more free throws than field goals. His three point shooting was a problem today, something that he'll need to be stable if he's going to see playing time in the NBA at his size. The only other Piston in double figures today was Justin Harper, who finished with 11 points on 5-8 shooting. The stretch four went 1-2 from deep, and connected on a few long twos. His play would fit well within what the Pistons are going to try on offense this year, as you can already see how essential the pick-and-pop will be. Tony Mitchell was quiet after a solid day yesterday, but supposedly had a nasty block that NBATV didn't show because they were too busy showing the Pistons bench. The bench reaction to Mitchell's block was priceless, featuring a synchronized "OH SHIT" from both Andre Drummond and Spencer Dinwiddie. As great as the reaction was, I think I would've rather seen the block. Brian Cook was 1-9 from the field today, and you could argue he was the only Detroit player who didn't have a positive game. Tim Ohlbrecht got dunked on again today, this time by Jarnell Stokes. Didn't think I'd be saying that about a near 7-footer two days in a row.
Memphis was led in scoring by Jordan Adams with 20, and Jarnell Stokes, who notched 16 points on 6-9 shooting. Stokes grabbed 12 rebounds, giving him his first double-double in Orlando. The Grizzlies also got double-digit scoring from Okaro White (11) and Joe Jackson (10). Memphis controlled the game early, going up by double digits at one point in the first half. Things changed when Detroit found a groove on offense and shots started to open up within the Pistons' offense. A day after Memphis forced 26 turnovers against the Thunder, they only came away with 13 against Detroit. When they stopped feeding Stokes, there just wasn't enough offense to keep the Pistons from getting the win. Jamaal Franklin had a rough day for the Grizzlies, going 2-14 from the field. Detroit will play next against Miami on Tuesday at 5 p.m,; the Grizzlies will play next on Tuesday at 3 p.m. against the Magic.
Sixers 84 (6 Pts) Thunder 73 (2 Pts)
Philadelphia improved to 1-1 with a convincing win over the Thunder, who fell to 0-2. The Sixers went into the halftime break up by 16, and coasted through the 2nd half. Philly was led in scoring by diminutive 2nd year PG Casper Ware, who scored 20 points on 8-16 shooting to go along with 5 rebounds and 5 assists. A trio of rookies joined Ware in double figures; Travis Bader and KJ McDaniels each had 13, and Ronald Roberts Jr. dunked his way to 12 points.
Oklahoma City was led in scoring by Mario Little, who scored 18 points on only 3-7 shooting, thanks to hitting all 10 of his free throws. Steven Adams, Semaj Christon and Andre Roberson all scored 12 for the Thunder, with varying degrees of efficiency. Perry Jones III struggled a bit for OKC, scoring only 9 points on 3-11 shooting. This game was as much about who didn't play as it was about who did; Nerlens Noel sat for Philly, and OKC rested Jeremy Lamb and Mitch McGary. The 76ers play next against Houston on Tuesday night, and the Thunder will play on Monday against Brooklyn.
Heat 110 (8 Pts) Nets 91 (0 Pts)
Miami thoroughly dominated this game from start to finish, winning every quarter along the way. 2013 second round draft pick James Ennis led the way for the Heat, scoring 29 points on 10-12 shooting, including a 7-8 performance behind the arc. Miami also got an improved performance from Shabazz Napier, who rebounded from an ugly performance in the opener. The 24th overall pick this year scored 17 points and dished out 7 assists. Justin Hamilton (15) and Tyler Johnson (14) were also both in double figures. Johnson was 6-6 from the field in 13 minutes played.
Brooklyn was outrebounded 37-19 on the night (raw rebound numbers are usually misleading, but that's terrible, not grabbing a single rebound until the 2nd quarter. Mason Plumlee led the Nets in scoring the second straight day, with 18 points on 6-7 shooting. Michael Jenkins and Nick Minnerath were the only other Nets players in double figures. Xavier Thames and Adonis Thomas combined to go 2-15 from the field. The Heat play their next game against the Pistons on Tuesday at 5 p.m., while the Nets will take on OKC on Monday night.
STAR OF THE DAY
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (DET): 30 pts (10-20 fg, 4-8 3pt, 6-7 ft), 12 reb, 3 ast, 2 stl
This one was a little bit harder to call than the first day, but KCP gets the slight nod over James Ennis for being both the leading scorer and rebounder on the day. KCP continued his offensive assault with more of the same attack that worked for him on Saturday against Houston. He remained aggressive, creating space off the dribble and taking advantage of that space by knocking down jumpers with ease. His mid-range jumper looks crisp, he's picking his spots to get to the basket, and he's now shooting 46.2% from three in the Pistons' two games.