Duren Posts 20-20 Game, Leads Pistons To 120-104 Win Over Thunder

Jalen Duren, Detroit Pistons, Oklahoma City Thunder, NBA News
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Jalen Duren’s exceptional performance, featuring 22 points and a career-high 21 rebounds, propelled the Detroit Pistons to a commanding 120-104 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder during Sunday’s NBA action, halting the Thunder’s five-game winning streak.

Pistons coach Monty Williams praised his team’s commitment and competitive spirit, especially given the challenging circumstances of a back-to-back game against one of the West’s top teams.

“I just think our guys care,” Williams said. “We had every reason to make excuses — a back-to-back against the best team in the West — and our guys just competed.”

Duren’s standout game included nine offensive rebounds, marking the Pistons’ first 20-20 game since Andre Drummond achieved it in January 2020. Duren also highlighted his six assists, noting his sense of the game’s pace improving significantly.

“I also had six assists,” Duren said. “I knew 20 and 20 was bound to happen for me at some point. The game is slowing down for me tremendously.”

Jaden Ivey contributed 19 points for Detroit, who were without their leading scorer, Cade Cunningham, due to injury management. Cunningham had just returned from a knee injury the previous day.

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Oklahoma City Thunder, Jalen Duren, Detroit Pistons Updates

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led the Thunder with 31 points, and Jalen Williams added 20. Despite trailing by 14 points early in the third quarter and a brief rally led by Gilgeous-Alexander, the Thunder couldn’t sustain their momentum. Ivey’s consecutive jumpers ignited a decisive 10-0 run for the Pistons.

“We felt like, on a back-to-back, if there was any level of concern, we didn’t feel good putting him out there,” Williams said.

Thunder coach Mark Daigneault acknowledged the energy differential, conceding that Detroit’s intensity and resilience were key factors in their deserved victory.

“I thought it was an energy thing in both directions,” Daigneault said. “They played with great energy — beat us to balls, played with intensity — and as the game wore on, we couldn’t drum up that same energy. They obviously deserved to win today.”

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Oklahoma City Thunder, Jalen Duren, Detroit Pistons Updates

The Pistons, leading by 13 points entering the fourth quarter, continued to secure their lead with timely 3-pointers. This victory matched their largest winning margin in a challenging 6-40 season. Ivey remarked on the team’s resilience against a formidable opponent, emphasizing the need for consistent effort.

“That’s a great playoff team, but we showed a lot of resiliency all game,” Ivey said. “That’s what we need to bring every night.”

Notably, key Thunder players, including Gilgeous-Alexander and Luguentz Dort, were rested in the fourth quarter, with Chet Holmgren playing only briefly. Daigneault explained the decision as a strategic balance, considering the game’s trajectory and the team’s upcoming schedule.

“There’s always a balance,” Daigneault said. “If I thought we had a chance to get back into the game, I would have obviously put them in, but with the way the game was going, I just didn’t feel it. With the schedule we have had and the schedule we have coming out of here, I thought it was the wise move.”

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Oklahoma City Thunder, Jalen Duren, Detroit Pistons Updates

Despite shooting over 56% in the first half, the Thunder trailed at halftime, partly due to the Pistons’ dominance in offensive rebounds and minimal turnovers.

Looking forward, the Thunder will host the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday, while the Pistons are set to face the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday.

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