Page last updated on Sat Dec 20 17:16:06 EST 2014
12/01/2013 7:50 PM EST
Drummond has big day; Pistons beat 76ers 115-100

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) -- Andre Drummond knows he's a poor
free-throw shooter. He still doesn't like it when teams make an
effort to remind him.

On an afternoon when the Philadelphia 76ers started
intentionally fouling him in the third quarter, the 20-year-old
forward responded with a performance the NBA hasn't seen in 23

Drummond sat out the end of the third quarter after missing nine
of 12 free throws in the period, but in the 34 minutes he did
play, he became the first player to have 31 points, 19 rebounds
and six steals in a game since Hakeem Olajuwon in 1990. He set
career highs in all three categories, two days after Maurice
Cheeks left him on the bench for the last 21 minutes of
Detroit's loss to the Lakers.

"That's a slap in the face for any player, so you get fired up,"
said Drummond, who also blocked two shots. "You can't get angry
and lose your focus, though. I just told myself it was a good
chance to work on my free-throw shooting and put some points on
the board."

Philadelphia coach Brett Brown, who watched Gregg Popovich use
the strategy during his days as an assistant in San Antonio,
said he didn't enjoy the idea, but thought it was his team's
only chance when it trailed by 24 points at halftime.

"It is one of the ugly parts of the game," Brown said. "You do
not really like doing it, but it is a rule and it helped our

The Pistons are used to the strategy - Popovich was one of
several coaches to use it against Ben Wallace - but not usually
in the third quarter. Drummond, though, is a unique case. He
might be the worst free-throw shooter in league history - he
entered the game shooting 27 percent from the line - and Detroit
collapsed late against the Lakers with him on the bench.

"Andre's a great young player, but I told him tonight that he
needs to learn from this," Cheeks said. "If he becomes a better
free-throw shooter, no one will be able to knock him out of a

At one point, the Sixers immediately fouled Drummond on three
straight possessions, forcing Cheeks to take him out of the
game. The strategy worked, as Philadelphia cut the margin to
94-82 going into the fourth, and the Pistons had to put Drummond
back into the game.

"I left him in there long enough to see how well he was going to
shoot, because he was having a great game, but there comes a
point where you have to take him out," Cheeks said. "They broke
the rhythm of the game - that's why you do it - and I didn't
want that to keep happening."

Drummond, though, changed things in the fourth. He finished off
a three-point play and then swished a pair of free throws to
give the Pistons a 103-85 lead with 9:04 to play. That kept
Brown from intentionally fouling him until they trailed by 19
with 4:03 left. Drummond split a pair of shots before coming out
of the game, just short of Detroit's first 30/20 night since
Dennis Rodman in 1991.

"When you do anything over and over, you get better at it," he
said. "My teammates kept telling me to take my time, and I hit
more of them toward the end."

Brandon Jennings and Josh Smith each added 20 points for the
Pistons, while Thaddeus Young had 24 for Philadelphia before
fouling out late in the game.

The Sixers play at a much higher pace than the Pistons, so a
up-tempo first half should have played right into their hands.
Instead, it was Detroit that dominated, scoring 40 points in the
first quarter and leading by as many as 25 on the way to the
70-46 lead. The Pistons outshot Philadelphia 55.1 percent to
39.1 percent, and had a 31-14 advantage on the boards.

Jennings dominated his matchup with rookie Michael
Carter-Williams in the half, outscoring him 13-8 and dishing out
11 assists to just three for Carter-Williams. Drummond also had
a first-half double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds. The
Pistons had five players score in double figures in the half,
while Philadelphia didn't have any.

"It's pretty obvious that we need to come out better,"
Carter-Williams said. "We're fine scoring the ball, but we need
to play defense. It's a team thing, and we have to put the
pieces together."

NOTES: Detroit native Bob Seger was in attendance and conducted
the crowd in a sing-a-long of his hit "Old Time Rock-n-Roll"
during a first-half timeout. ... Detroit wore its dark-blue
"Motor City" jerseys for the second straight home game, while
Philadelphia wore its white jerseys.

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