LAS VEGAS — The Detroit Pistons went 2-0 up in the Las Vegas Summer League game after beating the Washington Wizards 105-99 on Saturday. But it wasn’t a good day for the franchise thanks to injuries.
Both Jaden Ivey and Saben Lee left the game with ankle injuries and their future status is unknown. Isaiah Livers led the Pistons with 20 points while adding five rebounds, and Isaiah Stewart had 14 points and nine rebounds while putting down two of five 3-point attempts. Through two games in Vegas, Stewart is 5-for-9 behind the arc. Jalen Duren also had a solid night with 13 points, six rebounds and three assists, and Braxton Key added 14 points and seven rebounds.
Before their injuries, Ivey and Lee each had 11 points. Ivey scored his points in just five minutes.
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Ivey, Lee left with ankle injuries
It’s been a bad day for Piston’s injuries. Ivey’s electric start came to an untimely end after pinching his ankle midway through the first quarter. Lee followed Ivey’s lead in the fourth quarter and was out to play at 7:27 after injuring his left ankle.
At 4:52 in the opening period, Ivey landed on a 3-point try at the foot of Wizards forward Isaiah Todd, who was called for a flagrant 1-foul. Ivey took all three free throws but visibly limp and was in pain walking into the locker room.
Before the injury, Ivey got off to as strong a start as the Pistons had hoped. He didn’t miss a shot and went 2-on-2 from the floor (including his only 3-point try) 6-on-6 on the line.
He showed many of the tricks in his pocket – leaving defenders in the dust with his quick first step, knocking down a stepback 3 pointer and pushing the pace on the transition.
It’s possible we saw the last of Ivey in Vegas regardless of his injury status as he was the best player on the floor prior to his injury and picked up where he left off after a strong performance on Thursday. If so, he ended on a strong note.
Lee finished with 11 points and three assists in 25 minutes. He, too, could be turned off for the rest of the week.
Livers finds his shot contact
He knocked down just one of eight 3-point attempts in Thursday’s 81-78 win over the Portland Trail Blazers, but Livers was still one of the Pistons’ best players. He energized the team with his defense and picked up two blocks. After proving to be one of Detroit’s top shooters last season – having thrived behind the bow during his four-year career in Michigan – it was clear he would find his outsider touch again.
Liver didn’t have to wait long. He hit four of five 3-point attempts on Saturday and was Detroit’s top scorer after Ivey’s exit. Livers could become one of the Pistons’ most important players this season as he is one of the few above-average shooters in the roster and can hold his own defensively as well. He spent time in both forward positions last season and will fill a big need for the Pistons in the wing position.
After Saturday, it seems Livers have nothing left to prove in Las Vegas.
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