The W's went on a 21-2 run in the end of the first quarter and into the second to go up big. In the second quarter, the Warriors were in the middle of a 40-12. They shot 21 free throws to Detroit's 10, Monta Ellis scored 21 first quarter points, and new owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber addressed the Oracle crowd at the end of the first quarter. Oracle was rocking and the Warriors were rolling, no one seemed to notice the Pistons finish the half on a 9-0 run. It felt like the Warriors thought they had the game won already.
The Pistons changed their strategy and drove the ball inside on the Warriors. It was effective, as they shot 21 free throws. The Warriors shot none all quarter. The Warriors went 32 minutes of game time without attempting a free throw. The Warriors struggled to find solutions on offense with both Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry sitting on the bench in foul trouble.
With 9:18 left in the game, Smart couldn't wait any longer and sent his star backcourt mates back in. I thought he wait too long without at least one of his top scorers in the game. Monta immediately picked up his fifth foul on a foolish touch on a jump shooting Ben Gordon. After committing only 9 team fouls in the first half, the Warriors were called for 16 in the second. The Pistons deserve credit for exploiting the Warriors as a team who conceeds excess fouls.
Expect Warriors opponents to employ a strategy of attacking the rim on offense with the objective of living on the foul line, and on defense, sitting in a zone defense and imploring Warriors players to settle for perimeter shots.
On a positive note, the Warriors won the game. They Pistons are a good team, better than their record suggests. The W's played solid defense and made key stops down the stretch, including an Andris Biedrins block on a Ben Gordon jumper and a Steph Curry steal. A big question was how are the Warriors going to make up for David Lee and his 15 points and 11 rebounds? By committee off the bench. Reggie Williams contributed 14 points off the bench and Dan Gadzuric grabbed a team high 11 boards.
The Warriors started hot, went cold, but showed composure by making the necessary plays to secure the win and halt a two game losing streak without one of their most important players, David Lee.