ORLANDO, Fla. – Saddiq Bey scored a career-high 51 points and the Detroit Pistons beat the Orlando Magic 134-120 on Thursday night to end a four-game losing streak.
Bey tied the franchise record with 10 3-pointers in 14 attempts. He was 17 for 27 overall.
Two nights after being torched for 16 points in the first quarter by Brooklyn’s Kyrie Irving on his way to a 60-point game, the Magic gave up 21 points in the first quarter to Bey.
“I saw those highlights and it was just very efficient. It was within the flow of the game,” Bey said. “That was a great performance to watch, and I think just throughout the NBA there’s been a lot of great performances in the past two weeks. I’m just grateful to be in this league to have the opportunity.”
Marvin Bagley III added 20 points and 11 rebounds for Detroit in the matchup of the bottom two teams in the Eastern Conference. Franz Wagner led Orlando with 26 points.
“Rebuilding is always ugly,” Detroit coach Dwane Casey said, “but there's a lot of beautiful moments like tonight.”
Bey finished the first half in spectacular fashion, scoring five points in less than five seconds. He hit a 20-footer while falling out of bounds with 8.8 seconds left, came up with a back-court steal and made a 3-pointer with 3.9 seconds left, leaving the Pistons with a 73-62 lead.
“He had 30 points at half so we were definitely expecting 50,” said Pistons center Isaiah Stewart, who had 16 points and 10 rebounds.
The Magic scored the first nine points of the game, but that lead was quickly erased by Bey. The Pistons moved ahead for keeps on a dunk by Stewart that broke a 50-50 tie midway through the second quarter.
“I think it was just the flow of the game,” Bey said. “I didn’t come into the game saying this is what I’m going to do, but you catch a rhythm and you get in a zone. My teammates did a great job of finding me and just encouraging me to stay aggressive.”
The Pistons shot 50 percent and their 134 points was also a season high.
“(Bey) got going early and he hit some really tough shots, but we've got to do a better job — I've got to do a better job — of not letting him do what he wants to do," Wagner said. “He shot 14 3s and we knew before the game we didn't want him shooting 3s.”
Pistons: G Cade Cunningham missed his second straight game because of a non-COVID illness. . . . F Jerami Grant sat out the game because of right knee inflammation. . . . All 10 Pistons who played had at least one assist, and Bey had four of the team's 34.. . . . Detroit won the season series 3-1.
Magic: Cole Anthony missed his first 10 shots. . . . F Wendell Carter Jr. did not play due to a sprained left ankle. . . . G Jalen Suggs missed his fourth game with a bruised right ankle. . . . F Chuma Okeke missed his first game since Jan. 3 with a left knee contusion.
Pistons: At Cleveland on Saturday night.
Magic: Host Oklahoma City on Sunday night.