It took Derrick Rose quite a while to get going on Monday night in New Orleans.
For the Pistons’ sake, however, it’s a good thing he came alive when he did.
After going on a dominant fourth-quarter run where he dropped 15 points, Rose drove straight at Jrue Holiday with the clock counting down before spinning and drilling a vintage off-balanced buzzer-beater from the middle of the lane, leading Detroit past the Pelicans 105-103.
He never questioned that final shot, either.
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“Excuse my English, but I’m born to do this s--t,” Rose said after the game. “Like, dead serious. This is what I do. That’s one of the reasons why they brought me here.”
Rose finished the day with 21 points and seven assists off the bench while shooting 9-of-17 from the field. After making a pair of layups in the first quarter, though, he was held scoreless for more than two periods. Finally, he exploded in the fourth quarter with 17 points — and 11 of their first 13 in the period — to give Detroit the two-point win, its fourth in five games.
Luke Kennard added 14 points for the Pistons, and Andre Drummond finished with a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Brandon Ingram led the Pelicans with 31 points while shooting 11-of-21 from the field, and Holiday added 20 points. New Orleans has now lost nine in a row.
Monday marked the second straight game where Rose helped close out a win for the Pistons in the final seconds. Rose hit a pair of floaters in the final 1:14 of their 108-101 win against the Pacers on Friday, and hit Blake Griffin for a clutch 3-pointer to put Indiana away.
The 31-year-old has averaged 15.8 points and 5.7 assists so far this season off the bench, his first with the Pistons after signing a two-year, $15 million deal this past summer.
“He was MVP for a reason,” Griffin said Friday, via the Detroit Free Press. “He is very poised with the ball in his hands. He doesn’t get rattled or sped up, especially late in the game.”
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