Saddiq Bey
(Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images)

Bey’s sizzling start pushes Pistons to 3rd straight win


Three quick observations from Sunday night’s 121-117 win over the Indiana Pacers at Gainbridge Fieldhouse

BIG-DAY BEY – Saddiq Bey’s streak of games with a made 3-pointed ended at 51 straight when he played only six minutes and missed his only attempt at Oklahoma City on Friday night. But he started a new one with a vengeance at Indiana, knocking down six – in six tries - in the first 5:17. Bey scored 20 points in the first quarter and finished with 31 points in only 23 minutes, playing sparingly after halftime. The Pistons didn’t need him, it turned out, in rolling to a third straight win and putting seven players in double figures despite missing five key players. Bey hit 7 of 9 triples as the Pistons made 21 of 41 from the arc. Bey’s other streak – the one more meaningful to him – continued, though, as he played in his 132nd consecutive game, including all 79 this season. Bey has played in all but two games since being drafted by the Pistons and both were when Dwane Casey elected not to play him as a rookie. Led by Bey, the Pistons hit 13 triples in the first half to set a franchise record for a half set April 8, 2018 at Memphis. It was Bey’s seventh game with 30 or more points, the most by any Pistons player in his first two seasons since Grant Hill. The Pistons were missing Jerami Grant, Cade Cunningham, Hamidou Diallo, Cory Joseph and Marvin Bagley III. In addition, Saben Lee, Luka Garza and Jamorko Pickett were on assignment with the Motor City Cruise.

WHEELING & DEALING – Carsen Edwards, signed by the Pistons to a reported two-year deal earlier Sunday, arrived in Indianapolis around 3 p.m., two hours before tipoff. Edwards was a two-time All-American at Purdue, about an hour northwest of Indianapolis, and was drafted 33rd overall in 2019 after his junior season when he led the Boilermakers to the elite eight where they lost to eventual national champion Virginia despite Edwards’ 42 points. Edwards averaged 26.7 points in 42 games with Salt Lake of the G League this season after spending the past two seasons with the Boston Celtics. Edwards comes advertised as a scorer first and foremost and he showed why despite his lack of familiarity with his teammates and the playbook, finishing with 13 points but also dishing out nine assists. The Pistons also signed Braxton Key, whose 10-day contract expired, to a two-way deal. Key averaged 6.8 points, 5.2 rebounds, 1.6 blocks and 20 minutes in five games coming into Sunday. He’s also shown a knack for drawing charges, endearing himself to Dwane Casey in the process. To clear a two-way spot for Key, the Pistons waived Chris Smith, who recently suffered his second ACL tear of his left knee since first incurring the injury in January 2021 while at UCLA. Key came off the bench to provide 12 points, nine rebounds, two assists and four steals.

ELITE SNIPER – Isaiah Livers has a chance to flower into an elite 3-point shooter based on everything the Pistons have seen so far in his 16 games. Despite missing 59 of the first 60 games as he recovered from last spring’s foot surgery and then another four with a concussion, Livers has made the transition to the NBA appear seamless. He came into Sunday’s game shooting 43 percent from the 3-point line, impressive under any circumstances but especially for a rookie dropped into the middle of an NBA season after missing so much time. Livers has taken 75 percent of his shots from the 3-point line, though he’s also shown he’s effective when he puts the ball on the floor both as a finisher and as a facilitator. Livers scored 11 points and hit 2 of 7 from three. He set career highs with 17 points, 11 rebounds and 43 minutes in Friday’s win at Oklahoma City, when he hit 4 of 5 from the 3-point line. Livers hit 3 of 4 triples in Thursday’s win over Philadelphia, including two clutch threes in the fourth quarter as the Pistons came from behind.