SACRAMENTO — The Detroit Pistons and Sacramento Kings combined for 266 points through four quarters on Sunday. It was the definition of a shootout. Unfortunately for the Pistons, the Kings struck last.
Sacramento used a late 11-2 run to defeat the Pistons at Golden 1 Center, 137-129. Detroit’s point total was a season high, but the Kings shot 55.3% overall and made 31 of 35 free throws, attempting 12 more than the Pistons. Late miscues cost Detroit, which led 117-110 with 8:21 remaining in the fourth quarter. Kevin Huerter hit a 3-pointer with 1:29 remaining to give Sacramento a 131-127 lead, and a midrange jumper by De’Aaron Fox with 56.5 seconds left increased the Kings’ lead to six. Detroit was outscored 35-27 in the fourth quarter but led for nearly 19 minutes in the second half.
Jaden Ivey led the Pistons with 24 points, Bojan Bogdanovic tallied 21 points and Alec Burks finished with 16 points. Marvin Bagley III (15 points, six rebounds), Cory Joseph (12 points), Jalen Duren (12 points, eight rebounds) and Kevin Knox II (11 points) also finished with double figures.
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The Pistons were without Cade Cunningham, Isaiah Stewart and Saddiq Bey.
Jaden Ivey shakes slump, thanks to 3-ball
In his last five games before Sunday, Ivey averaged 18.4 points but on 38.4% shooting from the field and 25% shooting from 3. The rookie hit a slump after a strong start to the season — perhaps uncoincidentally right as Cunningham was ruled out with left shin soreness. Ivey is also taking more 3-pointers, averaging 5.6 per game during that five-game stretch after taking 4.5 per game during his first 11 games.
Ivey tied his career high against the Kings with four made 3-pointers, and it helped him get into a rhythm early. His first two makes were catch-and-shoot attempts — one from a one-handed drive and kick pass from Hayes during the first quarter, and the second tying the game at 48 at the 8:02 mark of the second quarter.
His next two were both stepback 3-pointers, indicating that he was feeling it. They both came in the last four minutes of the second quarter, giving him 15 points on 4-for-4 shooting from 3 at the midway point of the game.
The Pistons want Ivey to shoot when he’s given room. His greatest strength is going downhill, but Sunday showed how much more dangerous he is when he’s knocking down outside shots. He was shooting 29.5% from 3 before Sunday and he had developed a habit of taking 3-pointers early in the shot clock shot, often to poor results. His teammates got him easy looks in the first half, and it helped him have one of his better games this season.
Marvin Bagley III provides scoring punch in return to Sacramento
Sunday was Bagley’s first game in Sacramento, against the team that drafted him second overall in 2018, since the Pistons traded for him before the 2022 trade deadline last season. King’s fans clearly circled the date.
Bagley was barraged by boos from the crowd every time he touched the ball, and every time the PA announcer said his name. He responded with 15 points, the third time he’s reached double figures in five games this season. He scored his points in typical Bagley fashion, making a number of post hooks and short jumpers in a high-scoring affair for the Pistons.
Saddiq Bey misses first game since 2021
After rolling his right ankle late in Friday’s road game against the Los Angeles Lakers, it appeared Bey was positioned to miss his first basketball game in nearly two years. That ended up being the case, but he did his best to play on Sunday.
Bey was ruled out Saturday night, but his injury status was upgraded to “questionable” a few hours before the game. He took the floor for pregame warmups, going through defensive drills with Detroit’s development coaches. During his pregame media availability, Dwane Casey said Bey was “definitely not 100%,” but was going to give it a go. Ultimately, the Pistons decided to prioritize his health and keep him out of the game.
It was Bey’s first missed game since Jan. 28, 2021, and only his third missed game of this three-year NBA career. His streak of 152 consecutive games played was the second-longest in the NBA, behind Mikal Bridges’ 324. Isaiah Livers started in Bey’s place, and could stay there if Bey misses more time. His next opportunity to play will be Tuesday against the Denver Nuggets.