By DICK SCANLON – Associated Press
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Saddiq Bey posted a career-high 51 points and the Detroit Pistons defeated the Orlando Magic 134-120 on Thursday night to end a four-game losing streak.
Bey tied the franchise record with 10 3-pointers in 14 attempts. He was 17 for 27 overall.
Two nights after being torched in the first quarter by Brooklyn’s Kyrie Irving with 16 points on his way to a 60-point game, the Magic gave up 21 points to Bey in the first quarter.
“I saw those highlights and it was just very efficient. It was in the flow of the game,” said Bey. “That was a great performance to watch and I think there have been a lot of great performances throughout the NBA in the last two weeks. I’m just grateful to be in this league and to have the opportunity.”
Marvin Bagley III added 20 points and 11 rebounds for Detroit in the Eastern Conference bottom two-team matchup. Franz Wagner led Orlando with 26 points.
“Rebuilding is always ugly,” said Detroit coach Dwane Casey, “but there are many beautiful moments like tonight.”
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Bey ended the first half in spectacular fashion, scoring five points in under five seconds. He hit a 20-foot shot while falling out of bounds with 8.8 seconds left, came up with a back-court steal and made a 3-pointer with 3.9 seconds left, leaving the Pistons with 73- 62 took the lead.
“He had 30 points at halftime, so we definitely expected 50,” said Pistons center Isaiah Stewart, who had 16 points and 10 rebounds.
The Magic scored the first nine points of the game, but that lead was quickly erased by Bey. The Pistons advanced after a dunk by Stewart that broke a 50-50 tie midway through the second quarter.
“I think it was just the flow of the game,” Bey said. “I didn’t come in to say I’m going to do that, but you find a rhythm and you get into a zone. My teammates did a great job of finding me and just encouraging me to stay aggressive.”
The Pistons shot 50 percent and their 134 points was also a season high.
“(Bey) started early and took some really hard shots, but we’ve got to do a better job — I’ve got to do a better job — not letting him do what he wants to do,” Wagner said. “He was shooting 14 3s and we knew before the game we didn’t want him to shoot 3-pointers.”
Pistons: G Cade Cunningham missed his second straight game with a non-COVID illness. . . . F Jerami Grant sat out the game with an infection in his right knee. . . . All 10 Pistons who played had at least one assist, and Bey had four of the team’s 34. . . Detroit won the relay series 3-1.
Magic: Cole Anthony missed his first 10 shots. . . . F Wendell Carter Jr. did not play because of a sprained left ankle. . . . G Jalen Suggs missed his fourth game with a bruised right ankle. . . . F Chuma Okeke missed his first game since January 3 with a bruised left knee.
Pistons: In Cleveland on Saturday night.
Magic: hosts Oklahoma City on Sunday night.
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