Duren, Bogdanovic combine for 62 points in Pistons’ double-OT win over Spurs

Detroit News

Detroit − Two different games were taking place for the Pistons on Friday night, one on the court and one away from it.

On the floor, Detroit was hosting the rebuilding San Antonio Spurs at Little Caesars Arena. But behind the scenes, the franchise’s newly-acquired asset was in jeopardy of not joining the team.

The franchise’s four-way trade with the Golden State Warriors, Atlanta Hawks and Portland Trail Blazers for James Wiseman was in the balance due to a failed physical of Gary Payton II, who was moved to Golden State on Thursday.

While circumstances beyond their control were taking place, a game was still to be played. And it was arguably the most energetic game of the season.

In Detroit’s first game without Saddiq Bey and Kevin Knox, the Pistons found themselves in a down-to-the-wire thriller that needed double-overtime to decide a winner. The Pistons claimed their 15th win of the season, defeating the Spurs 138-131 in double overtime.

BOX SCORE: Pistons 138, Spurs 131 (2OT)

How here’s how the game wound up needing two extra periods:

Tied at 113 with 14 seconds left in regulation, the Pistons had the ball coming out of a timeout. Bojan Bogdanovic attempted a midrange jumper but couldn’t get it to fall, resulting in overtime.

The Spurs scored the first three points of the extra period, but Jalen Duren and Jaden Ivey’s back-to-back baskets kept Detroit in the game. Down three with 1:39 left, Ivey drew a foul and went to the line. He made both freebies to bring Detroit within one, trailing 120-119.

On the next play, San Antonio guard Devonte Graham drew a foul that left fans and the Pistons bench upset. He knocked the free throws down to give the Spurs a 122-119 lead. The Pistons had the ball with 47.1 seconds left when Ivey drew another foul to get to the line. He made his 10th and 11th free throws on that trip to bring the Pistons within one.

Graham hoped to end the Pistons’ chances of winning on the next play when he nailed a 3-pointer with 18.4 seconds left to give the Spurs a 125-121 lead. However, Bogdanovic made a 3-pointer that was changed to a two-pointer after a review. Isaiah Livers stole the ball on the inbound, which led to Bogdanovic getting fouled on a two-point attempt. Bogdanovic calmly knocked down both shots to tie the game at 125, setting up double-overtime after failed execution on the final San Antonio possession.

Detroit took the lead 132-131 after Livers nailed a 3-pointer from the wing. Isaiah Stewart increased Detroit’s lead to three after he tipped in a missed shot by Bogdanovic. There was 15.6 seconds left when Bogdanovic nailed two free throws to increase Detroit’s lead to five. San Antonio had a chance to make it a single-possession game, but Graham missed a 3-pointer, ending the Spurs chances of winning.

Duren dominated with an exceptional performance of a career-high 30 points, 17 rebounds and four blocks. Bogdanovic led the team with 32 points and five rebounds on 10-of-10 shooting from the free-throw line.

The Pistons needed another player to shoulder the offensive load alongside Bogdanovic and Duren proved to be a focal point. He reached a career-high in field goal attempts in the first three quarters and eventually grew that number to 20.

Duren only scored four points in the first quarter, but he showed another side of his emerging post game with a soft hook shot for one of his first baskets. Throughout the game, he threw down a couple of his signature dunks. Duren’s passing game was on display as well after he found himself double-teamed, to which he threw a clean bounce pass to Hamidou Diallo for a dunk. He also finished with four blocks, an area Casey wants him to become more effective in.

Spurs center Zach Collins led San Antonio with 29 points and 11 rebounds. Malaki Branham added 27 points and five rebounds. The Spurs were active at the trade deadline as well after they traded Josh Richardson to the New Orleans Pelicans for Graham, who finished with 31 points and six 3-pointers off the bench on Friday.

With the win, the Pistons (15-42) evened the series with the Spurs (14-42), who beat Detroit 121-109 in San Antonio on Jan. 6.

The Pistons will know whether Wiseman will be able to join the roster in the coming days, but a victory should suffice in the short term.

Here are some other observations from Friday’s loss to the Spurs:

Diallo leads bench: Hamidou Diallo has been a spark plug for the Pistons since he returned to the rotation in January. He led the Pistons second unit on Friday with 14 points on 5-of-6 shooting from the field. More importantly, he knocked down four of his five free throws, which has been a hindrance for him this season. He’s shooting a career-low 57%, but his 80% clip on Friday showed growth. He just has to be consistent from the stripe to add another dimension to his game.

A legend appears: Pistons legend Grant Hill was in attendance for Friday’s game. The Pistons’ No. 1 pick of the 1996 NBA Draft sat courtside in Tom Gores’ signature seats. Hill was introduced shortly after the first quarter. He signed autographs as he walked around the arena, even while he was seated as a young fan asked him to sign his vintage teal jersey, along with two other jerseys.


Twitter: @MikeACurtis2

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