The Detroit Pistons closed out 2022 on a high note. On the second night of a back-to-back, the Pistons overcame a 14-point deficit to defeat the Minnesota Timberwolves 116-104. The New Year’s Eve victory was Detroit’s second win over its past three games.
The Timberwolves jumped out to an early 39-28 lead through the first quarter. Anthony Edwards and D’Angelo Russell led the way with 14 and 13 points respectively in the opening period.
The Pistons’ bench kept the game within reach early in the second quarter. However, numerous turnovers prevented the team from bringing the lead back within reach. A buzzer-beater by Kyle Anderson extended Minnesota’s lead to 64-50.
A huge third quarter brought the Pistons right back into the game. After Detroit outscored Minnesota 38-24, the team tied the score at 88-88. The Pistons claimed the lead quickly at the start of the fourth quarter, and they held on through to the buzzer.
The Detroit Pistons bench unit offers a strong performance
Led by Alec Burks and Marvin Bagley III, the Pistons’ bench unit performed well throughout the game against Minnesota. Detroit’s bench unit tallied 29 out of the team’s 50 first-half points. Burks totaled 10 of those points as well.
In the second half, the bench played a key role in Detroit tying up the score at the end of the third quarter and stealing the lead in the fourth. The difference in play was not just the Pistons’ bench putting up points. They made the hustle plays that turned the tide of the game as well. Detroit ended the third quarter and started the fourth on a 32-9 run.
The Pistons’ bench finished with 65 total points. Burks, Cory Joseph and Hamidou Diallo all featured in Detroit’s closing lineup. Bagley ultimately led the bench unit in scoring with 18 points. Each member of Detroit’s bench unit finished with a positive plus/minus.
Bojan Bogdanovic explodes in the second half
Bojan Bogdanovic led the Pistons in scoring with 28 points. The veteran forward finished the game shooting 10-for-14 from the floor and three-for-four from beyond the arc. In the third quarter, Bogdanovic tallied 17 points, aiding in the Pistons’ comeback efforts.
Saddiq Bey was the only other Detroit starter to score double-digits in the game. Bey’s 13 points came off 50 percent shooting from the floor and 25 percent from beyond the arc. Not remarkable efficiency, especially from three-point range, but it was an improvement over Bey’s disappointing outing in Detroit’s matchup against the Chicago Bulls on Dec. 30.
Jaden Ivey struggles in the Detroit Pistons victory
After posting 22 points against the Bulls, Jaden Ivey disappointed on the second night of Detroit’s back-to-back. The rookie posted just a single point while shooting zero-for-four from the floor. Ivey tallied four assists but committed six turnovers in the game. This comes after he protected the ball well against Chicago, only committing three turnovers in 29 games against the Bulls.
Ivey played in just 20 minutes.
Ivey has struggled with consistency since Pistons’ star Cade Cunningham went down with a season-ending injury. scoring efficiency has been a major area of concern for the young guard early in his career. Working on improving his efficiency from the floor will be a New Year’s resolution for Ivey in 2023.
The Detroit Pistons take on the Portland Trail Blazers at the Moda Center on Jan. 2.
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