Monday, Jun 25, 2018
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Balanced effort helps Pistons snap losing streak at 6 games


The Pistons’ Greg Monroe, left, and Kyle Singler, right, scramble for a loose ball against the 76ers’ Michael Carter Williams. Singler had 16 points and Monroe added 15.


PHILADELPHIA — With the Detroit Pistons mired in a six-game losing streak, Josh Smith couldn’t believe his team could fall behind by 16 points in the first quarter.

He then decided to do something about it.

Smith had 22 points in an outstanding all-around game, Brandon Jennings made four 3-pointers in the second half, and the Pistons ended their slide with a 114-104 comeback victory against the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday night.

“I was frustrated because of the fact we were on a six-game losing streak, and it was disheartening to see us not come out with the kind of desperate energy we needed in order to get off the skid,” Smith said.

Smith certainly played with his share of desperation. Smith became the third player in NBA history with 22 points, 13 rebounds, seven assists, five blocked shots, and four steals in a game, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The other two were Hakeem Olajuwon and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who did it twice.

Smith was the only one of the three to hit a 3-pointer in the game. He made two of them, although the forward shot just 2 for 8 from 3-point range and 8 of 23 from the field. “He was around the rim all night,” Pistons coach Maurice Cheeks said. “He was there to clog the middle.”

Five other players scored in double figures for the Pistons, who averaged just 88.8 points during their skid. Kyle Singler and Will Bynum each had 16 off the bench.

“Whenever those guys come off the bench to give us positive minutes, it makes us that much better,” Smith said.

Thaddeus Young scored 22 points for the Sixers, who have lost three straight after reeling off four consecutive road wins. Michael Carter-Williams added 21 points, Evan Turner had 19, and Spencer Hawes finished with 16 points, 10 rebounds, and six assists.

The game marked Cheeks’ first return to Philadelphia as a head coach since being fired by the Sixers in 2008. Cheeks coached in Philadelphia for three seasons and was an assistant with Oklahoma City from 2009-13.

“It didn’t matter where we were,” Cheeks said. “We just needed to get the win.”

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