Josh Giddey’s OKC Thunder, the West’s No. 1 seed, lost in the upset of the season in a 120-104 blowout loss to the NBA’s lower-seeded Detroit Pistons.
This happened even more remarkably despite Pistons star Cade Cunningham (knee) being a late scratch for Monday’s contest (all-time AEDT) in Detroit, along with Jalen Duren (21 points, 21 rebounds, six assists) and Jaden Ivey (19 points, eight rebounds). , six assists) shining in more prolific roles.
The Pistons led 100-86 heading into the final term as an upset loomed in front of a building at Little Caesars Arena with excitement.
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When it looked like the momentum was shifting back to the Thunder early in the fourth quarter, Ivey hit a huge three from the wing to put the Pistons back up 17 with 8:14 to play.
Giddey was the only Thunder starter to play virtually the entire fourth quarter in what appeared to be a Mark Daigneault performance to give others bigger chances to try and get the visitors back into the game. Even Shai Gilgous-Alexander, who had 31 points in 29 minutes, watched from the bench for the entirety of last season.
Giddey’s thunder blows over the pelicans | 00:58
Giddey hit two free throws with six minutes remaining to bring the Thunder within 14 and continued to lead his team on the offensive end down the stretch. But the Thunder couldn’t get any closer than the 14-point margin in a one-sided affair.
In reality, this one never even felt close, with Marcus Sasser’s back-to-back buckets – a floater then three pull-up jumpers – almost closing the door on the outcome by giving Detroit a 117-98 lead with 3: 51 to play as Detroit cruised to a big win.
Giddey narrowly missed a double-double with 12 points, nine rebounds and five assists and Jalen Williams scored 20.
It was just the Pistons’ sixth win of the season – now 6-40 overall – as well as their second victory in their last three games.
OKC, which also has the NBA’s best road record at 15-9, fell to 32-14 overall to now hold the same record as Minnesota, the West’s No. 2 seed.
That means the Thunder and Timberwolves will play for the West’s No. 1 seed on Tuesday, while Minnesota is coming off a loss to San Antonio, the West’s lowest seed.