It looked like the Detroit Pistons were set to cruise to an easy win. An 18-point first quarter from Saddiq Bey helped them build a 23-point lead toward the end of the opening period.
The Cleveland Cavaliers slowly whittled down the deficit and took their first lead of the game with a Darius Garland 3-pointer midway through the fourth quarter.
Clutch baskets from Frank Jackson, Josh Jackson and Isaiah Stewart helped the Pistons (18-40) avoid a collapse and close out a close win, 109-105, at Little Caesars Arena on Monday. Frank Jackson and Bey scored 20 points each, and Stewart recorded his third-straight double-double with 18 points, 16 rebounds, three blocks and three steals.
Killian Hayes logged career-highs in points (12) and assists (nine), and Josh Jackson added 16 points. Collin Sexton and Garland scored 28 and 23 points, respectively, to lead the Cavaliers.
Saddiq Bey goes nuclear from 3
Bey had already proven he’s capable of heating up from 3 in a hurry before Monday. He scored 30 points against the Boston Celtics on Feb. 12 and went 7-for-7 from deep. He hit six 3-pointers in a game on three other occasions this season.
He hadn’t had a first quarter quite like the one he had against the Cavaliers, though. He hit six 3s in the period, with five of them coming from the 4:57 mark until the 2:13 mark. In that stretch, the Pistons increased their lead from 11 to 21. At that point, he had outscored Cleveland, 18-14.
Bey couldn’t keep his momentum going — he missed his next three attempts through the next three quarters and finished with 18 points and four rebounds.
Bey now has an NBA rookie record five games with six-plus made 3-pointers, and his first quarter also gave him a franchise-rookie record for 3s made.
Tyler Cook gets plenty of dunks in first start
Cook, who signed a pair of 10-day deals with the Pistons in March before inking a standard NBA contract on April 6, hasn’t been a significant rotation player for much of this month. But with Jerami Grant and Sekou Doumbouya out Monday, Cook got his first start of the season.
If there’s one thing that stands out about Cook’s game, it’s that he likes dunking the ball. He had 11 dunks in 14 games with the Pistons before Monday, accounting for nearly half of his 24 made baskets. If he has space, it’s going to be a dunk. If he doesn’t have space, he’ll still try more often than not.
Cook scored 12 points and grabbed three rebounds in 30 minutes. All six of his made baskets were dunks. He’s established himself as a lob threat, and might be the best dunker on the team. He particularly seems to enjoy cramming lobs one-handed, as he did midway through the second quarter after Hayes found him open.
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