NBA

Bogdanovic, Hayes outduel Doncic as the Pistons upset the Mavericks in overtime

By Sports Desk December 01, 2022

It was a familiar story for the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday as Luka Doncic was the best player on the court, but it was not enough, going down 131-125 against the Detroit Pistons in overtime.

In front of their home fans, the Pistons rode hot-shooting nights from Bojan Bogdanovic and Killian Hayes, combining for 52 points on 20-of-27 shooting to overcome the Slovenian star's brilliance.

Bogdanovic had 30 points with four assists, four rebounds and two steals, while Hayes had 22 points, eight assists and four rebounds, while starring in the overtime period.

Doncic, the league-leader in points per game, raised his average to 33.5 with his 35 points on 13-of-25 shooting, adding 10 assists an five rebounds, but he hit just two of his six free throws, proving costly.

With Doncic essentially being a one-man show in Dallas, the Pistons used that against the Mavericks in overtime, consistently trapping him as soon as he crossed mid-court to force a quick pass, deciding they would live with whatever resulted from other players shooting the ball.

The Pistons approached their offense in the complete opposite fashion, with six players attempting between 10 and 15 field goal attempts each, and their unpredictability forced the Dallas defense to play one-on-one.

Taking advantage of his hot hand, Hayes put the game to bed as he turned a 125-125 tie into a win with back-to-back pull-up three-pointers to stick the dagger into the visiting Mavs.

The tanking Pistons are now 6-18, while the Mavericks, who are coming off a Western Conference Finals appearance, fall to 10-11.

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    Detroit Pistons coach Monty Williams was left unimpressed by the Phoenix Suns issuing a statement following Isaiah Stewart's arrest.

    Pistons center Stewart was arrested after he punched Phoenix's Drew Eubanks before Wednesday's meeting between the Suns and Detroit.

    Stewart, who was already out of the game due to an ankle injury, was issued with a citation and released, reported ESPN, citing Phoenix police.

    Eubanks, meanwhile, helped the Suns win 116-100. The Phoenix center said the altercation with Stewart took place as he was coming into the arena, explaining an argument sparked before security intervened.

    In a statement, the Suns said: "The attack on Drew Eubanks was unprovoked, and acts of violence such as this are unacceptable.

    "We unequivocally support Drew, and will continue to work with local law enforcement and the NBA."

    Williams, who was sacked by the Suns last season, questioned his former team, however.

    "The thing is to get all of the information. The NBA will do an investigation," Williams said.

    "For me to come here and make a statement would be a bit irresponsible. I know the Suns said it was unprovoked; I think that is irresponsible for sure. You really don't know.

    "That did not need to happen. There is a time for the information to be gathered, and then you can make a statement."

    A Pistons statement added: "We are in the process of gathering information about what happened and what provoked it, and responding to the NBA and local authorities."

    Suns talisman Kevin Durant, who finished with 25 points, said: "Keep the game first. There's a lot of noise. 

    "It's unfortunate what happened before the game, it's supposed to be a brotherhood. But I also understand, dudes get into stuff. We try to avoid that in this league, hopefully we can move on from it. We all support Drew."

  • Gafford feels settled already after strong Mavs debut Gafford feels settled already after strong Mavs debut

    Daniel Gafford felt he was "already part of the mold" after impressing on his Dallas Mavericks debut.

    Gafford, who was acquired this week in a trade from the Washington Wizards, finished with 19 points, nine assists and eight rebounds in an emphatic 146-111 victory for Dallas over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday.

    Luka Doncic led with 32 points, while Kyrie Irving chipped in with 25, as the Mavs - who sit eighth in the Western Conference - made it four straight wins.

    "Playing with guys like Luka, Kyrie, all the other guys that were on the floor, it just felt like I was already part of the mold," said Gafford, who featured for only 17 minutes and was rested in the fourth quarter.

    Mavs coach Jason Kidd was delighted with Gafford's display, as he became the second-highest scoring debutant while coming on from the bench in Dallas' history.

    "What we've seen playing against Gafford is that he gets every offensive rebound," Kidd said.

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    The same could not be said for the Thunder, who lost for the second straight game and were 47-30 down by the end of the first quarter.

    "They shot it well early, but that’s where some of the transition, like straight up fast break plays really hurt you," Thunder coach Mark Daigneault said.

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    Kyrie Irving described himself as "at peace" over his time with the Nets after scoring 36 points in a stellar return to Brooklyn as the Dallas Mavericks won 119-107 on Tuesday.

    Irving, acquired from the Nets exactly one year ago, shot 15 of 24 from the field, was 4 of 11 on 3-pointers and handed out five assists.

    Luka Doncic fell just short of a 10th triple-double this season with 35 points, 18 rebounds and nine assists.

    Dallas improved to 28-23 with its second straight win before Thursday's road game in New York.

    After the win, Irving faced a string of questions over his time spent with the Nets, with his return coming after Kevin Durant also made a winning return to Brooklyn last week.

    "I don’t think about it too often now, I’m pretty much at peace with what happened and the time I spent here," said Irving.

    "I wish a lot of the guys well. Obviously, it was emotional and you could see my emotions running on out there but after that, I was just pretty much focused on winning the basketball game.

    "It was just like any other basketball game, but it felt like I was home."

    Pressed on his Brooklyn exit after impressing in his second game back after missing six with a sprained right thumb, Irving added: "It was time to get my own peace of mind and go somewhere where I was able to thrive.

    "I did not want to be in a situation where I didn't have to worry about behind-the-back talk or the media talk or not knowing how to handle real-life circumstances that has nothing to do with the game of basketball. 

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    The Nets only won one playoff series with Durant and Irving, who spent three-and-a-half years in Brooklyn.

    However, they almost defeated the eventual champion Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference semifinals in 2021, a battle that took place while James Harden and Irving were both short of full fitness.

    Irving said: "Things could have changed, and you look back at the past and you have 20-20 vision then this could've gone right or if this would've happened…

    "If I didn't get injured versus the Bucks, do I still ask for a trade? If KD's foot wasn't on the 3-point line, are we talking about a different legacy here? If James doesn't ask for a trade – all of the woulda, coulda, shoulda, wouldas.

    "Everything that I've learned about myself has come from being in the city and being in Jersey. It was a childhood dream to play for the Nets.

    "Obviously I fell short in terms of the championship aspirations, but for me, I think it was bigger than a championship here.

    "I had to really take some moral stances. There were some political things that were going on here as well and there were some things that I did on my accord that I look back on and they were mistakes. And I have to be accountable for those things. 

    "I'm not perfect. But one thing I can say is I've been able to learn from things and continue to push forward."

    Mikal Bridges scored 28 points and Royce O’Neal added 18 for Brooklyn, which cut a 23-point deficit to 107-101 with roughly five minutes left before Irving hit two straight 3s for a 113-101 advantage.

    The Mavericks are eighth in the highly competitive Western Conference standings.

    Irving added: "Hopefully after this night, we can just put that to rest, just move forward and I can look forward to the rest of my career and just handle it in Dallas and going after my second championship."

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