The Detroit Pistons started their three-game home stand off on a positive note. After losing two games in a row and finding themselves stranded in Dallas for multiple days, the Pistons defeated the Charlotte Hornets 118-112.
The Pistons led through much of the first quarter, leading by as many as ten points. However, a 15-to-four run quickly saw Charlotte tie the score. After both teams exchanged buckets, the Hornets took the lead to end the first quarter 30-29.
Both teams scored at will in the second quarter with Detroit scoring 40 and Charlotte scoring 38 in the period. Bojan Bogdanovic led the Pistons in the first half, scoring 17 points. The Pistons led at halftime 69-68.
The third quarter was another competitive frame; although, there was significantly less scoring as the Hornets retook the lead after scoring 23 points to the Pistons’ 20. The Pistons fell behind at the 9:50 mark of the fourth quarter, and the team would trail for the next seven minutes. However, with 2:34 left in the game, Detroit retook the lead 108-106, and they would not trail the rest of the game. A Saddiq Bey three-pointer with 32.1 seconds left in the game gave Detroit the lead for good.
A big night for the Detroit Pistons starters
All of the Pistons’ starters had strong performances in the team’s victory over the Hornets. None of the starters finished with a negative box plus/minus, and all played in at least 26 minutes of action.
The least impressive of the starters’ performances was Alec Burks. The veteran guard simply did what he has always done this season: be a steady reliable scorer.
Burks finished the contest with 16 points off five-for-12 shooting from the floor and two-for-seven shooting from three-point range. He added six rebounds and two assists to his box score as well.
Isaiah Stewart and Jalen Duren
Isaiah Stewart did not stand out as a scorer in this game. He scored eight points on an unremarkable 3-for-12 shooting. He missed both of his three-point attempts as well. However, Stewart finished the game with six assists and a game-leading 16 rebounds, including five offensive boards. Unsurprisingly, Stewart is a major reason why the Pistons outrebounded the Hornets 51-37.
Another major contributor to the Pistons’ dominance on the boards was Jalen Duren. The rookie big man collected 13 rebounds in the game to match his 13 points scored. Duren also recorded a steal and a block in the victory. The return of the Stewart and Duren frontcourt pairing is a welcome one. Both big men have shown significant promise in their young careers, and together that promise has only grown.
After scoring 17 points in the first half, Bogdanovic was somewhat quiet in the second half. The veteran forward only tallied 4 points after the half, finishing with 21. However, it was yet another good performance from the Pistons’ best active player. Bogdanovic was efficient shooting eight-for-14 from the floor and four-for-seven from beyond the arc.
Recent reports indicate the Pistons plan on moving forward with Bogdanovic on the roster with the trade deadline looming. That has not deterred other teams from inquiring about the veteran’s services. With how Bogdanovic has performed for the Pistons all season, and with the team’s plans to be competitive next season, it would take quite a lot for Detroit to part ways with their top scorer.
Jaden Ivey had one of his best performances as a member of the Detroit Pistons. The rookie guard finished the game shooting a perfect four-for-four from beyond the arc. He finished the game leading Detroit in scoring with 24 points. He edged out Lamelo Ball and Terry Rozier for the game lead in scoring, Ball and Rozier finished with 23 points each.
Ivey has shown growth as a playmaker since Killian Hayes was dropped from the starting lineup. The young guard has made his fair share of mistakes and turnovers, but he has learned and gotten better with more reps. He finished with seven assists in Detroit’s victory, turning the ball over only once.
Saddiq Bey brings a strong performance off the bench
Bey finished the game with 22 points and eight rebounds. The third-year forward shot the ball well shooting 50 percent from the floor and going three-for-eight from beyond the arc.
Bey has found more consistency as of late. Over Detroit’s previous 12 games before the Charlotte game, Bey has shot over 40 percent from the floor and 39.2 percent from three-point range. He is averaging 17.3 points in that span.
Bey is another name that has found interest among opposing teams at the trade deadline. The Pistons have shown no indications of looking to move on from the developing forward, but he might be the second most desirable piece on Detroit’s roster heading into the deadline. While it is unlikely that Bey is moved, it would not be surprising if multiple teams made serious offers to obtain his services.
The Detroit Pistons take on the Phoenix Suns Feb.4 at 7 p.m. EST. The team will be looking to secure its first winning streak of more than one since November.
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