Killian Hayes saves the day in Pistons' OT win over Mavericks

Mike Curtis
The Detroit News

Detroit − The Pistons and Dallas Mavericks were deadlocked at 125-125 in the final minute of a thrilling overtime game when Killian Hayes decided to put on his superman cape to save the day.

The third-year guard connected on back-to-back 3-pointers to help propel the Pistons to a 131-125 win at Little Caesars Arena on Thursday night.

Hayes, who finished with a season-high 22 points, four rebounds and eight assists, raced back down the court with three fingers pointing toward the ground after nailing the stepback triple to seal the game.

“Seeing the first one go in felt good. They were switching me to one-on-one matchups…It just felt right to shoot another, and another. We had a big game as well, so it just feels good to win.”

The Pistons survived an early offensive onslaught from Luka Doncic, the league’s leading scorer, thanks to a 30-point performance from Bojan Bogdanovic.

The Detroit forward scored 16 of his team-high 30 points in the third quarter and went shot-for-shot with Doncic, who finished with a game-high 35 points.

The Pistons led by 10 to start the fourth quarter, but Dallas started the final period on a 15-6 run to bring the game within one possession. Detroit produced another 10-0 run thanks to three consecutive mid-range shots by Hayes.

Hayes is averaging 13 points, 7.3 assists and 1.1 steals while shooting 46% from the field and 41% from beyond the arc over his last eight games.

“He’s very confident right now," said Pistons coach Dwane Casey. "For us, if Killian defends the way he defends, quarterbacks the team, makes the right read and then secondarily makes shots, that’s the last thing on the list. We have so many players that need his help, and Killian is one of our best pick-and-roll players at making decisions and making reads. He did those three simple things tonight for us.”

BOX SCORE: Pistons 131, Mavericks 125 (OT)

The win snaps a three-game losing streak and Detroit’s record improves to 6-18.

Bogdanovic and Doncic traded baskets for the majority of the game. They guarded each other. They shared jokes between plays. It was the ultimate display of professional shotmaking between two international talents.

Doncic, the league’s leading scorer, was clicking on all cylinders early in the game. He scored 14 points in the first quarter and knocked down three of his seven 3-pointers in that span. 

Detroit Pistons guard Killian Hayes (7) attempts a shot as Dallas Mavericks center Dwight Powell, left, and forward Tim Hardaway Jr. (11) defend during the first half.

The Pistons chose to guard the Mavericks superstar full-court for most of the game, but it didn’t matter once Doncic got into a halfcourt set. After a couple of size-up dribbles, Doncic often connected on stepback 3-pointers, his signature move. After scoring 20 points in the first half, Doncic struggled with his shot in the third and fourth quarters

After a 13-point effort in Tuesday’s lopsided loss against the New York Knicks, Bogdanovic responded with a more productive and efficient performance on Thursday. He scored 30 points for the second time this season and finished 10-of-14 from the field. He knocked down five of his six 3-point attempts. Bogdanovic also reached the 1,000-assist milestone after he found Isaiah Stewart for his line 3-pointer in the first quarter.

Jaden Ivey returned to the lineup after missing three games due to right knee soreness. He came off the bench for the first time this season. He checked in at the 3:23 mark of the first quarter and immediately made an impact. He used his speed to get to the basket and create easy scoring opportunities for Jalen Duren, who totaled 11 points.

Ivey finished with 16 points, six assists and four turnovers. He scored five consecutive points in overtime to give the Pistons a two-point lead, setting the stage for Hayes to close the game.

Detroit has been decimated by injuries throughout the season and suffered another blow to its roster when Livers left the game at the 5:08 mark of the first quarter with a right shoulder sprain. He was ruled out of the remainder of the game once the quarter ended. He finished with six points and two 3-pointers, the second which he drained immediately following his injury.

The Pistons will look to build on their thrilling win on Sunday against the Memphis Grizzlies.

Twitter: @MikeACurtis2

Detroit Pistons guard Killian Hayes (7) is met by teammate forward Saddiq Bey after a three-point basket during overtime.