LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Clippers didn’t pass Doc Rivers’ eye test.
He saw finger pointing and blame in the second half of a 95-87 loss to the Detroit Pistons on Saturday night that was the Clippers’ first defeat in five games, leaving the NBA without an unbeaten team this season.
“We lost the lead because our heads weren’t right,” said Rivers, who used profanity in his postgame comments. “We are never going to be a good team if we play and act like that.”
The Clippers stalled with 19 turnovers.
“You put yourself in that position when you turn the ball over 19 times,” said Patrick Beverley, who had a team-high four miscues, “but that’s something we can control and we will.”
Andre Drummond had 15 points and 17 rebounds, Reggie Jackson added 15 points and Langston Galloway had 13 off the bench for the Pistons.
“It’s a big confidence booster,” Anthony Tolliver said. “Obviously these guys being undefeated. They’re playing at a very high level.”
Danilo Gallinari hit a 3-pointer that left the Clippers trailing 92-87. But he struggled offensively, going 4 of 16 from the field and missing 7 of 10 3-pointers. The Clippers shot 33 percent for the game.
Jackson made a pair of free throws with 30 seconds left that sent the home fans heading for the exits.
“We just believe in each other,” Jackson said. “We all have our roles, but we know we’re going to do it collectively. We don’t know how it’s going to get done every single day but we’re all just holding ourselves to a standard that we’re going to play 48 minutes.”
Austin Rivers scored 20 points for the Clippers, going 6 of 8 from 3-point range. Blake Griffin had 19 points and 11 rebounds, and DeAndre Jordan added 14 rebounds.
Griffin disagreed with Rivers’ assessment.
“We made small, stupid mistakes as a team,” he said. “I didn’t see anyone pointing fingers. We didn’t make the right plays down the stretch. We just got stagnant at times.”
The Clippers were 15 of 38 from 3-point range.
The Pistons dominated the fourth, outscoring the Clippers 28-15. They hit five 3-pointers, including the first of three in a row by Stanley Johnson that gave Detroit the lead for good.
The Clippers’ first five baskets of the third came on 3-pointers and pushed their lead to 13 points. But they were limited to just two points over the final five minutes of the period and clung to a 72-67 lead heading into the fourth.
“The second half was tremendous,” Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy said. “There was nothing easy or smooth about it. They physically manhandled us in the first half, got to the line a lot more than we did and everything else. But then we fought really hard in the second half.”
Pistons: Their six-game road skid against the Clippers ended. … Jackson went over 5,000 points in his career.
Clippers: Griffin made two 3-pointers, giving him multiple 3s in a career-best five straight games.
Pistons: Visit defending NBA champion Golden State on Sunday in the second game of a back-to-back.
Clippers: Host the Warriors on Monday.
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