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Pistons’ Bogdanovic and Bey combine for 48 points in 116-100 loss to Suns

MLive- Flint/Saginaw/Bay City 2/5/2023 Kory Woods,

DETROIT — HBCU and NPHC night at Little Caesars Arena was the only thing the Detroit Pistons celebrated on Saturday night as they lost to the Phoenix Suns, 116-100.

Bojan Bogdanovic and Isaiah Stewart scored led the Pistons starters with 23 and 17 points, respectively, but the Suns’ stingy defense locked down the rest of the Pistons starters who collectively shot 8-for-23 from the field. Stewart had a rough start, missing all five of his shot attempts in the first half. He came alive in the third quarter, nailing three three-pointers, breaking his cold spell. Before then, Stewart had no made a three-pointer since Jan. 6 vs. the San Antonio Spurs.

Phoenix’s DeAndre Ayton was a handful for Detroit’s frontcourt on both ends of the court, especially in the paint. He was 13-for-15 from the floor, finishing with 31 points and 16 rebounds. Ayton was not alone as the Suns had three other starters score in double figures. Mikal Bridges scored 24 points, Cameron Johnson had 20, and Torrey Craig — who nailed all four of three-pointers — finished with 14 points.

Like most games this season, the Pistons bench delivered a solid performance, outscoring the Suns 38-25. 25 of those points came from Saddiq Bey, who was a hot 7-for-12 from the floor and made all seven of his free throws.

Also like most games this season, the Pistons’ opposition has owned them in the paint and on the glass. The Suns outscored the Pistons in the post, 54-30 and outrebounded them 46-30.

Phoenix’s Chris Paul had one of his worst scoring performances in seven years, finishing the game without making a single field goal. He was 0-for-7 from the floor. Despite his lack of scoring, Paul’s impact on the Suns’ offense was evident, as he finished with 13 assists. He and Ayton initiated the pick-and-roll effective throughout the entire game.

“We were switching 1-5,” Pistons forward Isaiah Stewart said. “Our guards got on Ayton and he was able to get to his spots and hurt us tonight. They executed that.”

Saturday’s loss drops the Pistons to 14-40 on the season. Their next game will be on Monday at Little Caesars Arena when the hosted the Boston Celtics. Tipoff is at 7 p.m.

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