Olynyk’s buzzer-beater gives Pistons win over Hornets in OT thriller

Detroit News

Charlotte, N.C. — The Pistons have had some lopsided losses this season, and though they have been playing better in the past couple of weeks, they had something bigger looming over their heads on Sunday.

They had lost 15 straight to the Charlotte Hornets, and on the second night of a back-to-back, they had their work cut out for them.

The Pistons got some good contributions from some unlikely sources and ended their losing streak against the Hornets, 127-126, in overtime at Spectrum Center.

Kelly Olynyk hit the winning jumper as time expired in overtime, sending the Pistons’ bench into a frenzy.

Cunningham had 12 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter, Saddiq Bey finished with 28 points and eight rebounds and Jerami Grant 26 points and four rebounds.

BOX SCORE: Pistons 127, Hornets 126, OT

Those were somewhat expected.

Toss in Olynyk’s unlikely contribution, plus 13 points and six rebounds for Hamidou Diallo and six points each for Isaiah Livers and Killian Hayes for the Pistons (15-46), and this was more than just an unlikely win — it might have been their best win of the season.

The Hornets (30-32) led, 112-110 with 1:04 left after a 3-pointer by Terry Rozier (33 points), but Bey answered with a putback after a couple of misses by the Pistons. The Hornets turned the ball over on an offensive foul.

In a scramble for the ball, Cunningham found Bey open for a corner 3-pointer, and the Pistons had the lead, 115-112, with 13.5 seconds remaining. With the lead, the Pistons chose to foul, so the Hornets couldn’t tie it on that possession.

Miles Bridges (29 points, 10 rebounds and five assists) made both free throws and Charlotte was within one. Cunningham was fouled and made one of two free throws, for a 116-114 lead. Bridges drove to the rim and created some space while being defended by Grant, missed the shot, but P.J. Washington scored on the putback, tying it with 4.1 seconds remaining.

LaMelo Ball (17 points, seven rebounds and seven assists) stole the inbounds pass and had a chance to win the game at the buzzer, but his jump shot was off the mark, sending the game to overtime.

The Hornets controlled overtime early, with Rozier hitting a turnaround jumper and Bridges scoring on a dunk for a four-point lead. Grant answered with a jumper and Bridges converted a three-point play for a 123-118 lead.

Grant had another answer, with a 3-pointer, and after a dunk by Washington, Bey hit another jumper to get the Pistons within two. Bridges was fouled and made one of two free throws, and the Hornets led by three. Grant scored on a drive with 1:29 left to get within one, and the Pistons got the stops they needed, including corralling a rebound on a jump-ball to give them possession with 6.8 seconds left, giving them a last shot.

Hayes inbounded the ball to Olynyk, who faded to his right and hit the shot right at the buzzer.



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