Saddiq Bey had 20 points for Detroit, Jaden Ivey had 17 points, seven rebounds and six assists, reserve Hamidou Diallo scored a season-high 19 points before fouling out and Killian Hayes had 17 points.
The 7-foot Valanciunas took advantage of Detroit’s thin and short frontcourt, making 12 of 15 shots and grabbing 16 rebounds.
“Valanciunas is a different animal,” said Casey, who coached the Lithuanian center a decade ago with the Toronto Raptors. “I’ve known him since he was a pup and he’s a handful down low.”
Pelicans: Williamson, who is out with a strained right hamstring, has missed 14 games this season and played in 29 games. He signed a five-year, $193 million extension that has the potential to be worth as much as $231 million after missing all of last season with a foot injury and being limited to 85 games over his first two seasons. … Ingram (toe) and Jones (back) were also out of the starting lineup. … New Orleans improved to 7-4 without Williamson and Ingram in the lineup.
Pistons: Stewart (shoulder) was ruled out after the team’s shootaround. .. Cunningham atttended his first game since having shin surgery last month.