|Warriors gear up for Drummond-led Pistons|
OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Golden State Warriors will have to deal with an elite big man for the third consecutive game Thursday night when they host Andre Drummond and the Detroit Pistons.
Two days after having successfully silenced Sacramento Kings star DeMarcus Cousins (17 points, 10 rebounds) in a 117-106 road win on Sunday night, the Warriors got steamrolled by the Miami Heat's Hassan Whiteside to the tune of 28 points and 20 rebounds on Tuesday.
The Warriors, playing on their home court, were able to prevail again, but it wasn't easy. The Heat led into the third quarter before eventually running out of gas in a 107-95 loss.
"Hassan Whiteside is a handful," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said after watching the young standout record his sixth career 20-20 game. "Whether he's scoring inside or not, he's a threat in there and you have to honor that."
Drummond did Whiteside one better in the rebound column when the Warriors and Pistons met last January in Detroit. With 14 points and 21 rebounds, he recorded his fifth career double-double in seven matchups with Golden State.
The Warriors signed Zaza Pachulia in the offseason to help combat big-time interior forces such as Drummond, and their first meeting this season was a Golden State success. Drummond was held to 15 points and nine rebounds in a 119-113 Warriors win in Detroit last month.
The rematch will take place in Oakland as Detroit's third game on a five-city trip. Already, it's been an unusual venture.
The trip opener got delayed one night when snow prevented the clubs from arriving in Portland on time.
The Pistons responded well, edging the Trail Blazers 125-124 in two overtimes Sunday night.
Detroit then appeared to be well on its way to a second consecutive road win before blowing a nine-point, fourth-quarter lead in a 100-94 loss at Sacramento on Tuesday.
Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy was thoroughly disappointed afterward.
"They outrebounded us by 11, we gave them 13 threes and our ball movement was just ridiculous in the second half," he told reporters after watching his team squander an 18-point lead. "We're playing everything one-on-one and wouldn't pass the ball. That's why we ended up where we are."
Cousins won his matchup with Drummond, outscoring his rival 24-9 and outrebounding him 13-12. Cousins also had six assists in the win, while Drummond made things tough on his opponent with seven blocks.
The trip doesn't get any easier for the Pistons. They will play three games in the next four days, including a rough Golden State/Utah back-to-back the next two nights.
The Pistons gave the Warriors a battle in their previous meeting. It took 32 points by Kevin Durant, 25 by Stephen Curry and a 12-assist, 10-rebound double-double by Draymond Green for Golden State to scratch out the win.
Pachulia contributed seven points, seven rebounds and a steal to the win in 19 minutes.
The veteran big man had eight points, six rebounds and three assists in his matchup with Whiteside on Tuesday.