Bogdanovic, bench send Pistons to 116-104 win over Wolves

Dec 31, 2022, 5:35 AM | Updated: 8:48 pm

Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards (1) works towards the basket while defended by Detroit...

Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards (1) works towards the basket while defended by Detroit Pistons guard Cory Joseph (18) during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Saturday, Dec. 31, 2022, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)

(AP Photo/Abbie Parr)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Bojan Bogdanovic scored 28 points, including 17 in the third quarter as Detroit erased a double-digit deficit, and the Pistons got 65 points from their bench in a 116-104 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday night.

Marvin Bagley Jr. had 18 points and 10 rebounds off the bench for Detroit, which had lost seven of eight and trailed by 18 points in the first quarter. The Pistons stayed within range and burst ahead with a 32-9 run at the end of the third and start of the fourth.

Reserve Alec Burks added 13 points for Detroit. The Pistons lead the NBA in bench points since the start of December.

“Our energy was very good in the third quarter, especially from our second unit,” Bogdanovic said. “The second group played great. When we play defense like we played in the second half, then our offense is kind of playing faster and we are moving the ball better.”

Anthony Edwards scored 30 and D’Angelo Russell added 25 points in a lackluster performance from Minnesota, which returned home after a winless four-game road trip and lost its sixth in a row.

“Tonight was the first time, I think, I saw them frustrated with each other through this stretch, through a lot of different ins and outs of the lineup, and tough losses on the road,” Timberwolves coach Chris Finch said. “Tonight, I think it manifested itself in a lot of frustration, guys not making the right, simple play.”

Russell scored 13 of the Timberwolves’ first 21 points and Minnesota used a 26-8 run early in the first to take an 18-point lead.

Detroit’s reserves entered and got back within 10 and the teams traded blows for the next two quarters.

Bogdanovic then hit three 3s midway through the third to spark the Pistons, who tied the game before the end of the quarter. Another reserve, Hamidou Diallo, supplied Detroit with its first lead with 10:37 left in the fourth.

“We know what we need to do, what we’re bad at,” Minnesota forward Jaden McDaniels said. “We watch it every day in film, so I feel like it’s a care factor.”

The Wolves tied the game before the Pistons scored 11 in a row to take control.

“A lot of it was about our defense,” Detroit coach Dwane Casey said. “It’s about the second unit’s character. We have a lot of character guys in the group that hadn’t been getting a lot of run, but they came in and played with pure heart, pure mind and won the game for us.”


All five reserves that played for the Pistons scored in double digits. While rookies Jaden Ivey and Jalen Duren are starters, the bench consists of veterans such as Burks and Cory Joseph, both with 11 years in the league.

“I think that was the key to that second unit tonight is just communication and effort,” said six-year veteran Rodney McGruder. “We were all over. Even when we made mistakes, we talked it out and the effort made up for it.”


Finch said “old demons” hurt Minnesota on Saturday, including rebounding. The Wolves were outrebounded 52-39. Finch also said he maybe needs to look at playing time as the team tries to solve its issues.

The third-year coach was also asked if there was a sense of entitlement with his team.

“There’s a lot of guys out there that maybe think we’re a lot better than we are,” Finch said. “Maybe it is a sense of entitlement or whatever. Certainly tonight we got what we deserved with the way we approached this game.


Pistons: Diallo returned after his one-game suspension for his part in the altercation with the Orlando Magic on Wednesday. Killian Hayes served the second game of his three-game suspension. … Detroit held Minnesota to 40 points in the second half and 16 in the fourth quarter.

Timberwolves: Rudy Gobert returned after missing one game with an illness and had nine points and 10 rebounds. He was scoreless in the first half. … Edwards had 14 and Russell added 13 in the first.


Pistons: Play the second game of a five-game road trip Monday in Portland.

Timberwolves: Host Denver on Monday.


More AP NBA coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Associated Press

Ex-Packer Guion gets 1 year for domestic violence assault

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Former Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Letroy Guion was sentenced to one year in jail after pleading no contest in a domestic violence assault at his home last fall. Brown County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Walsh also ordered Guion on Tuesday to serve three years’ probation and complete a domestic […]

1 year ago

Joe Jarzynka...

Associated Press

Durant eager for Suns debut vs. Hornets after knee injury

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kevin Durant has been through quite a bit during his 15-year NBA career — but joining a new team midway through the season is a new one for the 13-time All-Star. The 34-year-old Durant doesn’t seem all that worried. Durant makes his highly anticipated Phoenix Suns debut on Wednesday night against […]

1 year ago

FILE - Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores stands on the sideline during the second half of an N...

Associated Press

Judge: NFL coach can press discrimination claims in court

NEW YORK (AP) — NFL Coach Brian Flores can pursue some of his discrimination claims against the league and its teams in court rather than through arbitration, a judge ruled Wednesday. The written decision by Judge Valerie Caproni in Manhattan was issued months after lawyers for the league tried to get the lawsuit moved to […]

1 year ago

Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Alex Stalock cools off in the first period during an NHL hockey game ...

Associated Press

Kane trade reinforces hard reality of Blackhawks rebuild

CHICAGO (AP) — After days of speculation, the harsh reality of the Chicago Blackhawks’ situation was reinforced by one move in a flurry of transactions ahead of the NHL trade deadline. Showtime is over, at least in Chicago, and a seemingly bright future is, well, way off in the distance. The reverberations of Chicago’s decision […]

1 year ago

FILE -  Yves Jean-Bart, president of the Haitian Football Federation, wearing a protective face mas...

Associated Press

Disgraced ex-Haitian soccer president announces he’s back

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haiti’s former soccer federation president whose lifetime ban from sport over sexual abuse allegations was overturned last month announced Wednesday that he is reclaiming his position. Yves Jean-Bart’s defiant announcement could lead to a standoff with FIFA, which already has appointed an emergency management committee to lead the Haitian Football Association […]

1 year ago

FILE - Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers walks off the field after an NFL football game against the ...

Associated Press

Rodgers says decision on future will come ‘soon enough’

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers says he will make a decision on his future “soon enough” as the four-time MVP quarterback ponders whether to play next season and if his future remains with the Green Bay Packers. Rodgers, 39, discussed his future while speaking on an episode of the “Aubrey Marcus Podcast” that […]

1 year ago

Bogdanovic, bench send Pistons to 116-104 win over Wolves