Pistons rookie Saddiq Bey scores career-high 30, goes 7-of-7 on 3s in road win over Celtics
Call it Bey Watch.
Rookie Saddiq Bey was just that hot for the Pistons.
Bey had a record-setting performance, coming off the bench with a career-best 30 points — and helping the Pistons’ effort on both ends of the court.
Bey was perfect on 3-pointers and got a key steal in the final minutes to help seal an improbable 108-102 victory over the Boston Celtics on Friday night at TD Garden.
Bey was spectacular, going 7-for-7 from beyond the arc — a new franchise record for a rookie, surpassing Allan Houston — and helped guide the Pistons to their second victory over the Celtics this season.
“I'm more happy we got the win. It's just a blessing to be able to play this every day for a living,” said Bey, whose previous high was 20 points. “I try to stay even-keeled as much as possible. Stay humble and know I have to build off this and help my team win. That's the mentality I have.”
The Pistons (7-19) continued their string of impressive victories over some of the top teams in the league, after beating the Lakers and Nets in the past couple of weeks. It also was their first win on the road since Jan. 16, at Miami.
“I’m so proud of him. That young man is a worker, is diligent and is serious about his craft,” coach Dwane Casey said of Bey. “I love those Villanova guys like Kyle Lowry, who is great. Jay Wright does a great job of teaching and any Villanova guy is going to be well prepared for the NBA.”
Bey had 19 of his points in the first half, including 14 in the second period. He had a string of 12 straight Pistons points, with a three-point play then back-to-back 3-pointers and on a later possession, he made it three straight.
After a three-point play by Isaiah Stewart, the Pistons had a 50-39 lead with 2:36 left in the half, but they couldn’t pull away. The Celtics drew within 54-52 at halftime
The Pistons had their biggest lead, 82-69, after Bey’s 3-pointer at the 1:01 mark of the third quarter, but early in the fourth quarter, the Celtics (13-12) rallied with a 10-5 run to cut the lead to 87-82 with 7:38 left, spurred by Jayson Tatum (33 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists) and Jaylen Brown (27 points and six rebounds).
In the final seven-plus minutes of the game, Tatum and Brown accounted for 17 of the Celtics’ final 20 points, but the Pistons didn’t wilt under the pressure.
Delon Wright finished with 22 points, six rebounds and seven assists, including six points in the final stretch, and Bey’s 3-pointer with 38.2 seconds left pushed a three-point lead to six, giving the Pistons some cushion. That turned out to be their final field goal in regulation, and the Pistons made 7 of 10 free throws to put the game away.
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In three games against the Celtics this season, Bey is averaging 17.6 points and 7.3 rebounds and shooting an absurd 14-of-18 (78%) on 3-pointers.
“I wouldn't say it’s anything specific,” Bey said. “I just try to come out every night and give it my all. It's definitely a blessing, for sure.”