Detroit Pistons lose to Orlando, 119-112, ‘win’ in NBA draft lottery
The Detroit Pistons controlled the first 18 minutes of the game on Monday night, but the Orlando Magic hit the switch in the middle of the second quarter.
In a game that could affect the final lottery odds in two weeks’ time, the Pistons (19-46) lost to the Magic at Little Caesars Arena, 119-112. Detroit took the lead 43-36 at the 6-minute mark in the second quarter, but Orlando finished the quarter on a 15-3 run and led the rest of the way.
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With the loss, the separation of the flasks for the second best lottery odds grew. Detroit has the worst record than the Minnesota Timberwolves (20-45), the Magic and Oklahoma City Thunder (both 21-44).
Saddiq Bey led all scorers with 26 points, scoring five 3-point points for the eleventh time this season and for the second time in a row. His 5v10 night behind the arch gives him a two-game lead on the rookie record. Allen Iverson and Steph Curry take second place with nine such games.
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Frank Jackson took 19 points off the bench and Hamidou Diallo added 16 points and seven rebounds in his first start to the season for the Pistons. Cook had 13 points from the bench and Isaiah Stewart finished with 10 points, eight rebounds and three blocks.
Bey almost made a comeback for the Pistons in the last five minutes, scoring eight consecutive points from 4:16 to 3:31 to bring the deficit down to three. But five points each from Ignas Brazdeikis (Michigan) and Mo Bamba put the pistons away.
Diallo thrives the first time it starts
After missing Saturday’s loss to the Charlotte Hornets with knee pain, it wasn’t clear whether Diallo would play on Monday. He had a “questionable” diagnosis in his injury report on Sunday night.
His knee didn’t seem to bother him as he put together one of his best performances of the season against Magic. There were two clutch buckets in the last four minutes of the fourth quarter as the pistons wanted to take their first lead in the second half.
He grabbed a rebound in traffic, finishing a fallaway midrange jumper over Bamba at 2:50 to bring the deficit down to three and a driving layup at 1:27 to bring it down to four. His 16 points (5v10, 2v4 out of 3) marked his highest scoring bet since March 31, when he scored 19 points.
Tyler Cook brings energy from the bank
It’s been about six weeks since Cook signed a 10-day contract with Pistons, and just under a month since the franchise signed him for the remainder of the season. He’s been in and out of rotation for the past few weeks, but Monday showed why the pistons were holding him.
He finished the race with 13 points and three rebounds in 16 minutes and made all six of his shot attempts. His highlight was a poster dunk against Bamba early in the fourth quarter.
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