Trailing by 16 in the fourth quarter against the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday night, Detroit Pistons coach Dwane Casey benched center Andre Drummond.
And Detroit responded, rallying to force overtime.
“It wasn’t a message for Andre as much as a message for everyone who wasn’t on the floor,” Casey said. “The young guys were playing hard and earned the right to be out there.”
With Drummond still on the bench in OT, the Pistons, who are missing starters Blake Griffin (knee), Luke Kennard (knee) and Reggie Jackson (back), couldn’t convert the rally into a win with Christian Wood playing the final 20:23, and youngsters Svi Mykhailiuk and Sekou Doumbouya also on the floor down the stretch in the 117-110 loss.
“In a situation like that, we’re looking for five or six men who are playing hard and who can finish the game for us,” Casey said.
Lonzo Ball helped the Pelicans salvage the night, scoring five of his 17 points in overtime.
“That was a tough game,” Ball said. “We kind of lost it in the fourth quarter, but we got it back in overtime and ended up with a good win.”