Pistons forward Bagley out against Thunder with hip strain

Steve Kornacki
Special to The Detroit News

Pistons power forward Marvin Bagley, as expected, isn’t playing Friday night in Oklahoma City against the Thunder with a mild left hip flexor strain.

“He’ll be day-to-day,” Detroit coach Dwane Casey said prior to the game. “I think we lucked out. It’s just a strain and it was a nasty fall. He got caught up under Embiid…We’re not going to risk it if he can’t go or it’s close.”

Bagley was fouled hard by Philadelphia center Joel Embiid while attempting to throw down a violent slam dunk Thursday night in the third quarter. He hit the court hard, and didn’t get up right away.

Detroit Pistons forward Marvin Bagley III (35) drives past Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) in the first quarter.

When Bagley got up, he walked slowly to bench, grimacing several times, before sitting down. But then he got up to shoot the free throws — making one of two — and stayed in the game. However, he was limited to 24:27 playing time in Detroit’s 102-94 win.

Bagley finished with eight points and eight rebounds.

“Isaiah Livers is going to get a lot of Marvin’s minutes — probably at the small forward position,” Casey said. “Braxton Key, the young man we have on a 10-day (contract) is going to be there. Jamorko Pickett, one of our G League guys, is going to be playing tonight. This would’ve been a good opportunity for Luka Garza —who unfortunately has an ankle injury.”

Saddiq Bey will play mostly power forward instead of small forward.

Pickett (6-foot-8), playing mostly for the Motor City Cruise, has been up with Detroit for 10 games, averaging 2.1 points and 1.6 rebounds this season.

Asked what he likes about Pickett, Casey said, “It’s his length, his size, he can play small or big forward.”

Steve Kornacki is a freelance writer.

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