Clippers Fall to Shorthanded Pistons

Going into Friday night's game at The Palace against the Pistons, the Clippers might have felt like they had a shot. After all, Detroit was without Allen Iverson, Rip Hamilton, Rasheed Wallace, and Rodney Stuckey -- four of the team's top five scorers -- and should have been ripe for the picking. But a big game from the Pistons that remained, along with a subpar one from the Clippers' front line, sent L.A. to another loss by a score of 108-90.

The Clippers played fine for a half, or at least well enough to take a four-point lead at the break. But L.A. was outscored 62-40 over the final two periods, and the play of the two teams' big men pretty much tells you all you need to know about exactly how that came to pass.

Zach Randolph and Al Thornton are normally big time scorers for the Clippers, but on this night they combined for just 15 points on 6-of-22 shooting. On the Pistons' side, Antonio McDyess topped that by himself, and scored 24 points while grabbing 17 rebounds. Tayshaun Prince had 23 points and dished out 12 assists, and Will Bynum (who started in place of Stuckey) went for a career high 22.

But believe it or not, the real killer was Walter Hermann.

Hermann scored all 13 of his points in the final nine minutes or so of the game, and hit back-to-back three-pointers once the Clippers had cut Detroit's lead to just two points at 79-77. That effectively sealed it, and the Clippers were unable to recover from there.

On most nights, the Clippers are going to need everything they can get from Zach Randolph and Al Thornton if they're going to have a chance to win. When they both don't show up -- even against an extremely depleted, .500 team like the Pistons -- things are going to end badly.

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