A spirited comeback attempt ended in embarrassing fashion for the Detroit Pistons.
They went on a late 29-8 run to rally from a 21-point deficit, tying the game at 108 with just over three minutes remaining in the final period. After trailing by double digits for most of the night, the Pistons controlled most of the fourth quarter as the Chicago Bulls searched for signs of life.
The Pistons were supposed to have the final possession, trailing by two points with 9.7 seconds remaining. However, Jaden Ivey called a timeout the Pistons didn’t have while inbounding the ball, leading to a technical foul and a turnover. Zach LaVine, who was red-hot for the Bulls, hit the technical free throws and DeMar DeRozan made two more during Chicago’s ensuing possession to clinch a win.
The Pistons fell to the Bulls, 117-115, at Little Caesars Arena on Wednesday. Bojan Bogdanovic led the Pistons with 36 points and hit 8 of 12 3-pointers, and Hamidou Diallo added 19 points off the bench. The late timeout marred what was otherwise a solid night for Ivey, who scored 18 points on nine shots and made several clutch plays as the Pistons erased a blowout deficit. Killian Hayes finished with 11 points on 5-for-9 shooting and seven assists.
LaVine, who led all scorers with 41 points, did everything he could to bury the Pistons early. The Bulls’ high-flying scorer hit his first five shots of the night and never cooled off.
At halftime, LaVine had 17 points on just three missed shots. With two minutes remaining in the third, he hit his fifth 3-pointer of the night to extend Chicago’s lead to 20. Shortly after, he pulled up for his sixth 3-pointer to give himself 36 points on 14-for-18 shooting, and push the lead to 21.
Bogdanovic erupts as Pistons nearly complete comeback
Bogdanovic has been a model for consistency for the Pistons. So it was a sign that he was banged up when he shot just 8-for-24 overall during Detroit’s first two games after All-Star weekend. He ended up missing Monday’s road game in Charlotte with bilateral Achilles tendinopathy, and Dwane Casey said before Wednesday’s game that the team would watch his minutes in case he needed more rest.
After a quiet nine minutes to start the game, Bogdanovic started rolling at the end of the first quarter and put away all doubts about his health. He hit three 3-pointers in the final three minutes of the opening period to help the Pistons go on a 22-9 run to rally from a 15-point deficit. They trailed, 38-36, entering the second quarter.
Bogdanovic hit a midrange jumper to tie the game at 108 with 3:04 remaining in the game. He scored 12 of his 34 points in the final period, giving Detroit a needed push as they erased their big deficit.
Hayes digs out of slump
Since the Paris game in January, it’s been a rough go for Hayes. Entering Wednesday, the third-year guard shot 29.9% overall and 23.7% from 3 in his 13 games since the Pistons played the Bulls in Paris on Jan. 19. Couple that with his ice cold start — he shot 12-for-60 through his first 11 games this season — and his season-long averages don’t reflect the substantial improvements he showed in November and December.
In his previous 31 games leading up to the Paris game, Hayes averaged 12.3 points, 6.7 assists and 1.4 steals while shooting 42.5% overall and 36.4% from 3. It was Hayes’ longest stretch of reliable scoring since he was drafted, and he did so while handing out more than three assists for every turnover. It was notable progress, considering Hayes shot 37.4% overall and 26.8% from 3 during his first two seasons.
Hayes looked like the pre-Paris version of himself against the Bulls on Wednesday. It wasn’t a big night for him, stats-wise, but he played under control and made his shots. He only knocked down one of his four 3-pointers, and he’s made just 21.4% of his attempts since Jan. 15. Hayes needs Wednesday to be a starting point for a late-season turnaround.
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Contact Omari Sankofa II at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @omarisankofa.
Next up: Cavaliers
Matchup: Pistons (15-48) at Cleveland (39-26).
Tipoff: 7:30 p.m Saturday; Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, Cleveland.
TV/radio: Bally Sports Detroit; WXYT-FM (97.1).