There was a stake in the Magic vs. Pistons encounter tonight as the loser would finish the day last in the East. So it will be Orlando again, as the Florida Pistons won 134-120 after an exceptional Saddiq Bey, author of 51 points, 30 of which in the first half, with a 10 out of 14 out of 3 points.
Still, it was the Magic who had the best start with a 9-0. But then Orlando’s defense, no matter how correct since the All-Star Game, will explode. Forty-eight hours after Kyrie Irving it was Saddiq Bey who caught fire, and well served by Killian Hayes, he already turned the situation around (18-15). The competition is balanced and the Wagner brothers show beautiful things. Markelle Fultz has found her canes and the Magic regains the advantage (39-37).
As Bey blows, Marvin Bagley takes over. At 3-point of tap, he dominates the interior of the Magic, and when Bey comes back into play, Detroit took control (57-53). The Detroit shooter can then continue his festival, and he scored five points in five seconds before halftime to give a 12-point lead (74-62). He’s already at 30 points, and he’s four units away from his career.
After the break, the Bagley-Bey duo continued their festival and the gap widened to 17 points. On the other hand, Cole Anthony is approaching the bar of 10 missed shots in a row… As in the first quarter, it is the Wagner siblings who give the Magic fans hope (92-86). On the other side, Bey finds a new playing partner: Isaiah Livers. Detroit starts with 3-point shots (106-94).
The only interest of the last quarter is to see where Saddiq Bey will stop. Dwane Casey leaves him on the field until the end and RJ Hampton gives him two throws on an obviously avoidable foul. Bey’s arm doesn’t tremble and he goes over 50 points to confirm this big win (134-120).
WHAT TO REMEMBER
– No records. If Saddiq Bey, on the other hand, explodes his personal best, the franchise record will remain in the hands of Jerry Stackhouse, author of 57 points. The last Piston to reach the 50-point mark was Blake Griffin.
– Absences. Detroit is finishing the season reasonably well, but the infirmary remains filled as the two best players, Cade Cunningham (ill) and Jerami Grant (knee), were absent. Killian Hayes was injured again in the first quarter in a collision with Kelly Olynyk. The French, quite honestly since the All-Star Weekend, had started on big bases in the pass.
Saddiq Beu† The numbers speak for him: 51 points to 10 from 14 from 3-point range. We knew the sophomore was capable of catching fire, and his absence made him the first option on the attack. His teammates sought him out a lot, and he enjoyed it. His 10 rebounds prove that he also helped his interior.
Marvin Bagley† A double-double for the former interior of the Kings, very comfortable in the game of the Pistons where we make him deviate from the circle. Clumsy from a distance until then, he hit the target tonight.
The Wagner brothers† While Cole Anthony sank, Franz and Mo Wagner held the house with their accuracy for a long time. Holders, they combine well and their versatility allows them to offer many solutions.
Cole Anthony† He had to wait for his 11th shot to get in… A match that failed for him when there were no big names up front. He struggles to organize the match and the team was more balanced with Markelle Fultz.
Orlando (18-53) : Sunday reception of the Thunder.
Detroit (19-51) : Saturday trip to Cleveland.