Detroit Pistons bested by buzzer-beater again in 107-106 loss to Oklahoma City Thunder

Detroit Free Press

Two days after scoring a career-best 32 points, Jaden Ivey stayed hot on Wednesday night. He hit his fifth 3-pointer of the night with 3:35 remaining to tie it at 100, giving the Detroit Pistons a chance to leave Oklahoma with a victory.

However, he picked up his sixth foul and exited the game with a minute remaining on a controversial charge call. Oklahoma City Thunder big man Jaylin Williams appeared to be moving his right foot as he got into position for the charge. Pistons head coach Dwane Casey challenged the call, and lost.

The Pistons ended up losing, 107-106, in a wild finish. Cory Joseph hit a pull-up 3-pointer with 13.5 seconds left to give Detroit the lead, but Josh Giddey won a jump ball on Oklahoma City’s final possession. Giddey missed a hook, but rookie Jalen Williams tipped in the miss with 0.5 seconds left to give the Thunder the win. The Pistons were out of timeouts and were unable to advance the ball past halfcourt for a final shot.

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Ivey led the Pistons with 24 points and nine assists. He also tied his career-high with five 3-pointers. It was a hot night from 3 for the Pistons, who hit 16 of 33 beyond the arc. It was Detroit’s first time with at least 15 3-pointers since going 17-for-34 against the Orlando Magic on Feb. 23.

James Wiseman scored 14 points, as did Eugene Omoruyi, who played for the Oklahoma City Thunder before signing with the Pistons earlier this month. Wiseman also grabbed 11 rebounds, giving himself a double-double, and Joseph scored 13 points and dished out five assists. OKC’s Jalen Williams led all scorers with 27 points.

Ivey hit his third 3 early in the third period to briefly give Detroit the lead, 61-59. Oklahoma City responded, and a Luguentz Dort 3-pointer midway through the quarter extended a 10-0 Thunder run that gave them a 69-61 lead. Detroit battled back, cutting the deficit to two — 81-79 — with back-to-back 3-pointers from R.J. Hampton and Omoruyi.

The first half saw eight ties and 10 lead changes, but the Pistons were the superior offensive team — largely thanks to their bigs. Wiseman and Duren combined for 21 points and 12 rebounds on 10-for-12 combined shooting through the first two quarters as Detroit shot 47.8% overall and 6-of-15 from 3 while holding the Thunder to 40.8%.

The Thunder were without All-Star and leading scorer Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (left ankle sprain). Killian Hayes exited the game in the fourth quarter after appearing to tweak his ankle.

Bagley proving himself as floor spacer

The Pistons’ 129-107 loss to the Atlanta Hawks on March 21 was a breakout game of sorts for Bagley. He set a season high in scoring with 31 points, but what was more notable was how he did it. Bagley hit a career-high four 3-pointers on five attempts, after entering the game with just 10 makes all season.

Bagley was still feeling it Wednesday, with his third game in four outings with at least one made 3-pointer. He hit his lone 3 with 4:26 to play in the third quarter, helping the Pistons cut an eight-point deficit to three. He now has 16 made 3-pointers this season, with six coming in the last eight days.

The Pistons have prioritized playing Bagley at power forward alongside either Wiseman or Duren. He’s the best ball-handler of the three, but Casey has also pointed to his ability to space the floor. Bagley is a career 28.8% outside shooter, but he has shown that he can knock them down when given space.

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