Detroit − The Pistons and Dallas Mavericks were deadlocked at 125-125 in the final minute of a thrilling overtime game when Killian Hayes decided to put on his superman cape to save the day.
The third-year guard connected on back-to-back 3-pointers to help propel the Pistons to a 131-125 win at Little Caesars Arena on Thursday night.
Hayes, who finished with 22 points, four rebounds and eight assists, raced back down the court with three fingers pointing toward the ground after nailing the stepback triple to seal the game.
The Pistons survived an early offensive onslaught from Luka Doncic, the league’s leading scorer, thanks to a 30-point performance from Bojan Bogdanovic.
The Detroit forward scored 16 of his game-high 30 points in the third quarter and went shot-for-shot with Doncic, who finished with a game-high 35 points.
The Pistons led by 10 to start the fourth quarter, but Dallas started the final period on a 15-6 run to bring the game within one possession. Detroit produced another 10-0 run thanks to three consecutive mid-range shots by Hayes.
The win snaps a three-game losing streak and Detroit’s record improves to 6-18.
Bogdanovic and Doncic traded baskets for the majority of the game. They guarded each other. They shared jokes between plays. It was the ultimate display of professional shotmaking between two international talents.
Doncic, the league’s leading scorer, was clicking on all cylinders early in the game. He scored 14 points in the first quarter and knocked down three of his seven 3-pointers in that span.
The Pistons chose to guard the Mavericks superstar full-court for most of the game, but it didn’t matter once Doncic got into a halfcourt set. After a couple of size-up dribbles, Doncic often connected on stepback 3-pointers, his signature move. After scoring 20 points in the first half, Doncic struggled with his shot in the third and fourth quarters
After a 13-point effort in Tuesday’s lopsided loss against the New York Knicks, Bogdanovic responded with a more productive and efficient performance on Thursday. He scored 30 points for the second time this season and finished 10-of-14 from the field. He knocked down five of his six 3-point attempts.
The Pistons will look to build on their thrilling win on Sunday against the Memphis Grizzlies.