Detroit — Ja Morant proved to be the best player on the floor on Thursday as he led the Memphis Grizzlies to a 126-111 win over the Pistons at Little Caesars Arena.
The Grizzlies’ All-Star scored a team-high 31 points, grabbed 8 rebounds and dished 4 assists as he put on highlight after highlight.
The loss leaves the Pistons (0-4) winless through the preseason, a time in which the team experimented with different lineups mainly due to injuries.
For the preseason finale, Dwane Casey returned to his starting lineup in the first preseason game and put Bogdanovic at the power forward position, alongside his usual group of Cade Cunningham, Jaden Ivey, Saddiq Bey and Isaiah Stewart.
The Pistons’ offensive struggles continued in the first half. The were outscored 31-17 in the first quarter and shot just 6-of-24 from the field (25%).
Five different Pistons players scored in double figures, led by 17 points from Saddiq Bey, who found himself scoring inside more than outside on this particular night. He added 8 rebounds.
Isaiah Stewart showed the ability to remain confident after early struggles from the 3-point line, but he finished with 16 points and 9 boards. Cade Cunningham totaled 15 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists. Cory Joseph added 12 points off the bench.
In his Pistons debut, forward Kevin Knox scored 11 points and connected on 3-of-6 attempts from the 3-point line.
After scoring a team-high 20 points and 7 assists on Tuesday against Oklahoma City, Pistons guard Kilian Hayes did not play against the Grizzlies due to a sore right hip. He was seen in street clothes alongside Hamidou Diallo, Isaiah Livers, Nerlens Noel, Alec Burks and Marvin Bagley, who suffered a sprained MCL against the Thunder on Tuesday.
Morant wasn’t the only Grizzlies player that hurt the Pistons. Desmond Bane and Brandon Clarke both totaled 16 points apiece.
The Pistons will resume action on Wednesday in the season opener against the Orlando Magic. They can put their winless exhibition record behind them and try to win the games that really matter, but they’ll need to gain some continuity in order to reach their goal of staying competitive on a nightly basis.