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Apr 12, 2024 11:08 pm

Pistons surprise Mavericks, snap 6-game losing skid

Piston Metu

Marcus Sasser led a balanced attack with 24 points, James Wiseman put up a double-double in a rare start and the visiting Detroit Pistons formally crushed the Dallas Mavericks’ hopes of finishing fourth in the Western Conference with a stunning, 107-89 victory Friday night.

Evan Fournier led a productive four-man bench crew with 13 points as the Pistons (14-67) snapped a six-game losing streak by having better depth than a Mavericks club resting star guards Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving.

Jaden Hardy went for a game-high 25 points off the bench for Dallas (50-31), which needed to win its last two games and have the Los Angeles Clippers lose twice in order to move into the fourth Western playoff spot, which includes home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

Chimezie Metu had 11 of his 18 points and Jared Rhoden nine of his 11 in the first half, during which the Pistons led by as many as 10 before settling into a 53-46 advantage at the break. The Mavericks hurt their own cause with 11 turnovers in the first 24 minutes.

Troy Brown Jr. and Wiseman connected on the first two hoops of the third quarter to increase the margin to 11, and the Pistons — who hadn’t won since March 29 at Washington — kept the hosts at arm’s length the rest of the way.

Sasser’s 24 points equaled the second-most of his career, two fewer than the 26 he scored at Milwaukee in November. He hit nine of his 20 shots on a night when the Pistons outshot the Mavericks 48.4 percent to 43.4 percent.

Wiseman totaled 10 points and a game-high-tying 10 rebounds for Detroit, while Malachi Flynn (10 points) and Taj Gibson (eight) joined with Fournier and Rhoden to give the visitors 42 points off the bench.

Flynn also found time to tie Jaden Ivey for game-high assist honors with five. Ivey finished with seven points and Brown six, as all nine Pistons who saw action scored at least six points.

Hardy shot 9-for-19 and pulled down seven rebounds — second on the team to fellow reserve Dwight Powell, who matched Wiseman’s game-high total.

Olivier-Maxence Prosper chipped in with 16 points off the bench for Dallas, which got no more than nine points from any starter, each of whom was limited to 16 or fewer minutes.

Powell also collected a team-high four assists for the Mavericks, who finished the night with 20 turnovers.

–Field Level Media

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