Through two quarters on Sunday at the Palace of Auburn Hills, it looked as if Detroit, leading 56-51 at halftime, was in control of Tayshaun Prince and the visiting Memphis Grizzlies.
Then, everything fell apart for the Pistons.
Detroit (14-20) managed just 28 points the second half, as Memphis (15-18) rolled to a 112-84 blowout of the home team.
“For some reason, we’re just a first-half team,” Pistons point guard Brandon Jennings said. “We aren’t coming out with the same energy in the second half, and we’ve got to find out why. This is ridiculous right now.”
Jennings went 0-for-7 in the second half and Detroit made only four of 20 second-half jump shots.
Jon Leuer led all scorers with 23 points, tying a career-high for the second-year forward. Ed Davis added 17 points and 11 rebounds for Memphis off the bench, and Zach Randolph had 16 points and 16 rebounds. Prince and point guard Mike Conley each had 15 points for the Grizzlies.
Greg Monroe led the Pistons with 19 points and Andre Drummond grabbed 14 rebounds to go with 15 points of his own. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 14 and Josh Smith had 13 points and nine rebounds.
The loss was the fourth straight for Detroit and the Pistons’ sixth in the last seven games dating back to Dec. 20. Detroit has also lost five consecutive games at the Palace and nine straight games against Memphis.
“This is most definitely an emergency right now,” Jennings said. “It’s slipping away from us. You start questioning if everyone is willing to sacrifice and do the things that we need to win games.”
The Pistons return to action Tuesday at New York, then travel to Toronto on Wednesday. The Grizzlies host San Antonio on Tuesday and Phoenix on Friday.