Pistons rebound from Dallas ordeal with 118-112 win over Hornets

Detroit News

Detroit − The Pistons had less than 24 hours to shake off any leftover jet-lag or mental fatigue from their five-day layover in Dallas due to inclement weather before it was time to host the Charlotte Hornets.

It would’ve been expected if the team came out flat or with a lack of energy. That was the lingering question entering the Pistons’ first home back-to-back of the year.

However, that wasn’t the case.

Detroit rebounded from a tough loss against the Mavericks and their unexpected “bonding experience” in Dallas to defeat the Hornets 118-112 at Little Caesars Arena on Friday night.

The Pistons battled tooth-and-nail with the Hornets until the final minute.

Detroit trailed by three with less than five minutes left before the start of their comeback efforts. Rookie guard Jaden Ivey was in the mix of all of the action during crunch time.

BOX SCORE: Pistons 118, Hornets 112

With the game in the balance, Ivey drove into the paint towards the end of the shot clock and made a clutch floater to bring Detoit within two points. On the next possession, he drove into the paint again but found Jalen Duren, who was fouled on a one-handed dunk attempt.

The game was tied at 112 with a little over under 40 seconds left when Ivey penetrated and dished the ball to Duren, who made a quick pass to Saddiq Bey in the corner for the go-ahead 3-pointer. The Hornets had the ball with 32.1 seconds, but couldn’t get the ball inbounds and a five-second violation was called. Despite not having to foul on the next possession, Charlotte fouled Alec Burks, who put the game out of reach with a pair of free throws.

With the win, the Pistons improved to 14-39. The Hornets, who were on the second night of a back-to-back, dropped to 15-38.

Ivey, fresh off being named to the Rising Stars game for NBA All-Star Weekend, played one of his more efficient games of the season. He led the team with 24 points and seven assists, while playing poised and under control for the majority of the game. Ivey made all four of his shots from beyond the arc and 8-of-11 overall.

Bojan Bogdanovic added 21 points. Bey had 22 points and eight rebounds off the bench. Burks added 16 points and six rebounds. Duren compiled a double-double of 13 points and 13 rebounds.

The Hornets’ starting backcourt of LaMelo Ball and Terry Rozier combined for 46 points. Ball flirted with a triple-double with 20 points, eight rebounds and eight assists before fouling out late in the fourth quarter. Rozier tallied 23 points and six assists. Charlotte forward Jalen McDaniels had 14 points and four rebounds off the bench.

Here are a couple of takeaways from Friday’s win:

Bey shines off bench: Bey came off the bench for the first time in 10 games, but paced the second unit with his scoring and ability to get to the free throw line. He connected on 7-of-15 from the field and gave the Pistons a presence on the boards. Bey’s go-ahead triple was one of three 3-pointers on the night. He entered the game with a significant milestone. Bey had 478 3-point field goals in the first 200 games of his career, the most in franchise history and the 10th most in NBA history.

Stewart returns to starting lineup: After three consecutive games of playing off the Pistons’ bench, Isaiah Stewart returned to the starting lineup and made his presence felt on the boards. He finished with eight points and was one rebound shy of a season-high in rebounds with 16. Dwane Casey’s decision to go big paid off as the Pistons outrebounded the Hornets 51-37, partly because of Stewart and Jalen Duren’s production on the boards. Stewart also showed promise as a facilitator, with six assists on the night.

Stewart’s struggle from beyond the 3-point line continued. He missed both attempts on Friday, which marks 13 consecutive misses from 3-point range over his last seven games.

mcurtis@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @MikeACurtis2

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