Gold Fall to Cruise 122-103
GRAND RAPIDS, MI - After a hard-fought back and forth battle, the Grand Rapids Gold, the official NBA affiliate of the Denver Nuggets, ultimately fell to the Detroit Piston's Motor City Cruise, breaking the home team's three game winning streak.
The matchup started as a seesaw battle with 14 lead changes and 5 ties. The tide turned in favor of the Cruise during a huge fourth quarter performance. The Cruise found their shooting rhythm and outscored the Gold 37-17.
Despite the stat line being balanced in most categories, the Gold fell short in rebounding, grabbing 27 defensive boards compared to 50 for the Cruise. The Cruise crashed the boards on the offensive end too. 15 offensive rebounds resulted in 20 second-chance points for the away team. The Gold had only 8.
Big man Giorgi Bezhanishvili had a game-high 22 points, on 9-11 shooting, along with 5 rebounds and 2 assists. Lance Stephenson contributed a solid 19 points, 2 rebounds, and 2 assists. Matt Ryan added another 15 points to the mix with 2 rebounds. Davon Reed racked up a solid double-double with 14 points and 13 assists, as with 5 steals. Other Gold players in double figures were Trevon Duval (11 pts, 2 steals) and Nik Stauskas (10 pts, 5 rebounds and 4 assists).
The Cruise's success can be attributed to contributions from several players. Cheick Diallo commanded the court with an impressive double-double, adding 20 points and 10 rebounds to the away team's stat line. Pistons two-way player Jamorko Pickett tallied up another 20 points to go along with 8 rebounds and 2 assists. Jaylen Johnson put up a double-double with 16 points, 11 rebounds, and 2 assists. Other Cruise players in double digits were Deividas Sirvydis (18 points, 4 assists, and 2 rebounds), ShawnDre Jones (16 points, 5 rebounds and 2 steals) and Devon Baulkman (10 points).
Both teams will enjoy a brief break during the holiday weekend, with the Gold returning to action on Friday, December 3, to take on the Wisconsin Herd in Grand Rapids at The DeltaPlex Arena. Tip-off is at 7:00 p.m. EST.
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