The Detroit Pistons defeated the Charlotte Hornets, 118-112, behind Jaden Ivey’s proficient, efficient night: 24 points on 11 shots, with 7 assists to only 1 turnover. Saddiq Bey scored 22 points off the bench (oh yeah, a starting lineup change happened) for Detroit, including the game-sealing corner three off a slick feed from Jalen Duren. Alec Burks chipped in 16 points, including some important free throws late.
For the Hornets, LaMelo Ball scored 23 points (on 23 shots, including an eyebrow-raising 13 three-point attempts), Normal Pistons Killer Terry Rozier added 23 points as well, and Mason Plumlee somehow had FOURTEEN free-throw attempts to go with his 13 points.
But back to the real story: Jaden Ivey was cool, calm, and collected all night, starting out 4-5 in the first quarter with some early finds to Bojan Bogdanovic, and closing the night out with a tough, off-balance floater and some great decisions:
.@IveyJaden with the tough floater to bring us within two! pic.twitter.com/0MDjeXoLcV— Detroit Pistons (@DetroitPistons) February 4, 2023
Ivey has looked more and more comfortable as a playmaker and initiator since he was handed the keys to the main ballhandler role in the starting lineup; Sean Corp is as prescient as ever. Tonight, Ivey did a lot but didn’t try to do too much, a fine line young guards must toe nightly as they progress in the NBA. If this continues, the Pistons are going to be in great shape for years to come.
I’m going to be thinking about this play for a long time:
When you need a 3, you look for Saddiq Bey!#Pistons | @ThinkFordFirst @SaddiqBey pic.twitter.com/PaRVk7HBid— Bally Sports Detroit (@BallySportsDET) February 4, 2023
Jaden Ivey using his speed to collapse a defense, flipping it to a rolling Jalen Duren, who sees the help in his way and snaps a pass to the corner for Saddiq to knock down a trey. Just beautiful basketball when it mattered the most, from the three young guys on the floor closing the game out.
I’m not going to lie; especially after the Rockets game, I thought this young Pistons team (that DID commit 22 turnovers on the night) would shoot themselves in the foot too much to come away with a win against the Also-Pretty-Bad Hornets. Very pleased to be wrong.
The Pistons get a chance to build on this win tomorrow, when the Phoenix Suns (coming off a decisive victory over the Boston Celtics tonight) come to town.