Detroit Pistons Jerami Grant: We didn’t take much from the Nuggets
Detroit Pistons forward Jerami Grant speaks to the media after their 134-119 loss to the Nuggets on Tuesday, April 6, 2021, in Denver.
Detroit Pistons, Detroit Free Press
The Denver Nuggets, one of the best offenses in the NBA, were without their second-best player on Tuesday, as Jamal Murray was a late scratch due to a knee injury.
It didn’t matter much.
The Detroit The Pistons flopped toward the end of the first quarter after a competitive start and a road loss to the Nuggets, 134-119. It was the second night of a back-to-back for the Pistons (15-36).
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In his first game in Denver since leaving the Nuggets last offseason, Jerami Grant scored 29 points on 11-of-18 shooting. Saddiq Bey also had a great night, setting the Pistons’ all-time rookie record with 106 3-pointers on the season. Bey finished with 25 points on 9-of-15 shooting (6-of-12-for-3) and Frank Jackson scored 11 points from the bench. Nikola Jokic led Denver with 27 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds.
Killian Hayes missed the game due to handling a right hip injury.
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Bey makes history at the Pistons
Bey got a chance to make franchise history by entering the game. With 105 3-pointers this season, he was tied with Brandon Knight for the all-time record among the Pistons rookies.
He broke the record at the 7:15 p.m. mark in the first quarter to become the franchise’s rookie leader. He did it in just 49 games. Bey certainly benefits from playing in the current NBA, allowing him to hit a higher volume of 3s per game than his predecessors.
But it is also a testament to his talent. He shoots 37.6% from 3 before Tuesday and was second among all rookies in attempts and behind. Minnesota Anthony Edwards, shooting guard for the Timberwolves.
It ended up being a remarkable night for Bey beyond his record-breaking performance. He broke the 20-point threshold for the first time since March 19 and fell one short of his career-high for 3-pointers in a game. After shooting 8 of 33 combined in his last four games, Tuesday was a necessary comeback performance for him.
Grant excels in return
The Pistons were initially scheduled to play the Nuggets on the road on February 1, but it was postponed. So Grant had to wait two more months to face his former team. Grant’s decision to leave Denver to grow up with a rebuilding Pistons team was one of the biggest stories of the offseason last year. He played like he had something to prove.
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Grant scored 16 of his 29 points in the first quarter and aggressively sought to get to the rim. If it were a tighter game, he could have played more than 30 minutes and passed the 30-point threshold for the 10th time this season. But on a night when few Pistons were able to get their offense going, Grant and Bey were two bright spots.
Jackson emerges as a 3-point threat
Jackson did not have a reputation for being a 3-point shooter entering this season with the Pistons. He pitched 31.4% and 32.6%, respectively, during his first two seasons in the league.
He has been on a roll since March 15, knocking down 21 of his 44 attempts (47.7%) from the outside coming into Tuesday’s game. He continued his streak against the Nuggets, going 2 of 6. It has helped him become a constant in the rotation; he has played all 13 games since March 15 after appearing in nine games prior to that date.
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