It took longer than many expected, but Killian Hayes has arrived.
The third-year guard took over late for the Detroit Pistons, scoring 14 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter and overtime to deliver a 131-125 home victory over the Dallas Mavericks. Hayes hit two big 3-pointers in the final 75 seconds of overtime, knocking down a pull-up 3 and a step-back 3 to break a tie at 125. He shot 10-for-13 overall and also dished out eight assists.
Bojan Bogdanovic led the Pistons with 30 points, and Marvin Bagley III (19 points, 13 rebounds), Isaiah Stewart (nine points, 12 rebounds, three assists) and Jaden Ivey (16 points, six assists) also had good games. Mavs guard Luka Doncic led all scorers with 35 points and 10 assists.
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Hayes’ hot fourth quarter, OT carries Pistons late
Detroit’s hot offense went cold in the fourth quarter. The Pistons shot 42.9% in the frame, missing all six of their 3-pointers in the period after knocking down 56.9% of their shots and 12 of 24 3-pointers through the first three quarters. It helped the Mavericks go on a 17-4 run that turned a 12-point deficit into a 104-103 Mavericks lead with 7:51 remaining in the fourth.
But the Pistons responded with a 14-5 run that gave them a 117-109 lead with less than two minutes remaining. Hayes scored or assisted the final 10 points of Detroit’s run. His midrange jumper has been borderline automatic over the last three weeks, and he knocked down three in a row before and after assisting a pair of layups from Bagley — the second on a cut courtesy of a nice bounce pass from Hayes.
The guard continued his theatrics in overtime, scoring Detroit’s first bucket on a long midrange jumper. He rescued the Pistons after they allowed a game-tying 8-0 Mavericks run at the end of the fourth quarter that forced overtime.
Hayes has shown a lot of growth since Cade Cunningham exited the lineup with shin soreness, but Thursday was the best performance of his career. He has grown increasingly comfortable finding his own offense in crunch time, and the Pistons likely would’ve lost against the Mavericks if he didn’t call his own number.
Ivey returns, provides energy off bench
The No. 5 overall pick became the third recent Pistons pick in as many games to return from injury on Thursday. He wasted no time reacclimating himself after missing the previous week.
Ivey’s first half was his best, as he checked in with less than four minutes remaining in the first quarter and scored or assisted on Detroit’s next eight points. He coasted through Dallas’ zone defense for a pair of layups and assisted two Jalen Duren buckets — a layup and dunk — on dumpoff passes. Early in the second quarter, he stepped into a 3-pointer to give the Pistons a 45-44 lead and threaded a tricky bounce pass to Alec Burks on a cut to tie the game at 47 a couple of possessions later.
Ivey tailed off in the second half, as he presumably wore down after missing a week of action. But no other Piston can pressure the rim like he can, and he helped the Pistons build an early momentum that carried them through the game.
Livers leaves game with right shoulder sprain
The Pistons have dealt with a revolving door of injuries this season. After getting Ivey back from a four-game absence, the team will now add Livers to its injury report.
Saddiq Bey checked in for Livers with 5:08 remaining in the first quarter. The team ruled Livers out of the game with a right shoulder sprain, but it’s unclear when the injury took place. Livers was grabbing toward his shoulder before checking out and was visibly in pain.
The injury spoiled an encouraging quarter for Livers, who started his second consecutive game and hit his first two shots — both 3-pointers — to help the Pistons keep pace with Dallas early.