Killian Hayes scored eight of 22 points in overtime as the Detroit Pistons recovered from a late lead to defeat the Dallas Mavericks 131-125 on Thursday night.
Christian Wood’s dunk tied the game at 125 with 1:35 left in overtime, but Hayes answered with back-to-back 3-pointers to give the Pistons a six lead with 41.6 left to seal the victory.
“They switched me into a one-on-one game so I knew I could get a chance,” he said. “The first felt good and the second felt even better.”
Hayes struggled in the first 2 1/2 years of his career, shooting 36.8%, including 27.6% on 3-pointers, but coach Dwane Casey has always stressed that his shot is of no value.
“We need a point guard who can play quarterback on the floor,” said Casey. “We don’t have a lot of one-on-one players, so we need that quarterback to organize the offense and make sure everyone gets the ball.
“He’s our best playmaker, he’s our best point guard and he’s our best defender against point guards. That’s what we need from him.”
Bojan Bogdanovic led the Pistons with 30 points, while Marvin Bagley III added 19 points and 13 rebounds.
“Bogey had his European basketball pride on the line tonight playing against Luka (Donic), and he did what he does,” said Casey. “I’m sure Luka grew up watching Bogey, so they both wanted big games tonight.”
Doncic had 35 points and 10 assists for Dallas. Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 26 points.
“I’m disappointed with the effort we put in on defense,” said Mavericks coach Jason Kidd. “That’s something we’ll talk about tomorrow.”
Hayes’ jumper gave the Pistons a 111-104 lead with 4:14 to play by the rules and Doncic missed a three-pointer at the other end. Another Hayes jumper took Detroit’s series to 10-0 and the lead to 113-104.
After a dunk from Christian Wood, Hayes hit his third straight jumper to keep Detroit ahead by nine.
“He got into a rhythm and the resistance from our defense wasn’t high,” said Kidd. “It was more like a shooting, but you still have to give Hayes credit.”
The lead was still eight with two minutes left and five when Doncic missed a pair of free throws with 1:00 left — giving the Mavericks 15 misses — but the Pistons didn’t take the opportunity to freeze the game.
Hardaway Jr. got the rebound and fed Doncic for a 3-pointer to make it 117-115. Alec Burks missed at the other end and ex-Piston Reggie Bullock’s layup tied the game with 22.6 seconds left. Isaiah Stewart missed a 3-pointer and the clock ran out during the layup battle.
“We had that lead and let them come back and equalize, but we didn’t fold,” said Hayes. “We stayed strong, played defensively and shot. We deserved this one.”
Doncic had 20 points in the first half and the Mavericks reached 60 points despite missing eight of 17 free throw attempts in the half.
HIT THE BOARDS
After the Pistons struggled to rebound the ball at either end of the floor in Tuesday’s 30-point loss to the New York Knicks, Casey challenged Bagley and Stewart to step up their game.
“I told them there was no reason to keep starting two greats if they weren’t dominating the glass — I could put Corey Joseph in the lineup,” Casey said. “Tonight they came through and did a really, really good job on the boards.”
FREE THROW FIGHT
The Mavericks shot 53.5% from the floor but only 48.3% from the free throw line, missing 15 shots from the line in an overtime loss. Dallas had only shot below .500 once in franchise history on at least 20 attempts, going 10–21 on March 14, 1998, in a loss to the New Jersey Nets.
“We didn’t do what we had to do on defense, so if you don’t make free throws as a team, it doesn’t help,” said Hardaway Jr., who was 2-4 from the line. “
Mavericks: Visit the New York Knicks on Saturday.
Pistons: Host the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday.