Sunday night’s game at the Little Caesars Arena produced a result that most NBA fans didn’t foresee. Behind Jalen Duren’s 20-20 outing, the Detroit Pistons stunned the Western Conference-leading Oklahoma City Thunder, 120-104.
Duren finished with 22 points and 21 rebounds specifically. The big man was able to haul down nine offensive boards and shot 9-of-13 from the field. After the game, Duren spoke about bouncing back from the previous day’s loss and being prepared for a powerhouse such as the Thunder.
“It was big time,” Duren said, pertaining to the win. “Especially after yesterday, we didn’t come out like we wanted to yesterday…Today the main focus was keeping that energy and we know what type of team this is. They were playing great. We know we had to come ready to play.”
The center also mentioned how happy he was to have gotten the win, adding that his double-double was bound to happen at one point.
“We were able to get the win. That’s what I’m most happy about…20-20 is 20-20. I knew it was bound to happen at some time,” he said, via The Detroit News’ Mike Curtis.
Jalen Duren and the Pistons show hidden potential vs. the Thunder
Entering Sunday’s matchup, the Thunder were on a five-game winning streak and were expected by many to cruise past the Pistons with ease. However, Detroit showed a level of play that fans had waited to see the entire season.
Despite being down by seven points at the conclusion of the first quarter, the Pistons rallied, outscoring the Thunder 46-30 in the second quarter en route to a nine-point halftime lead, 70-61.
In the third, Shai-Gilgeous Alexander sparked a run that cut the lead down to three, 87-84. In response, Detroit shot a barrage of threes, extending the lead back up to 13 entering the final period. They would not look back as the momentum continued until the end of regulation.
While the Pistons still have much more work to do for a complete season turnaround, Sunday’s showing has given Motor City Fans a glimpse of the hidden potential that the team holds.