Drummond, Pistons grind out win over T-Wolves

Minnesota Timberwolves’ Ricky Rubio, left, of Spain, runs into the defensive efforts of Detroit Pistons’ Spencer Dinwiddie in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Nov. 20, 2015, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Andre Drummond had 21 points and 11 rebounds to lift the Detroit Pistons to a 96-86 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday night.

Marcus Morris had 16 points and 11 rebounds and the scuffling Pistons grinded out a victory after losing four of their previous five games. Reggie Jackson scored 18 points, including two tough drives to the hoop in the final three minutes to hold off a late charge from Minnesota.

Andrew Wiggins scored 21 points and Karl-Anthony Towns had 18 points and seven rebounds for the Timberwolves (5-8), who fell to 0-6 at home this season. That’s the second-worst start at home in franchise history.

Neither team played well, combining for 30 assists on 73 made baskets and 9-for-41 shooting from 3-point range.

Drummond has been one of the stars of the early part of the season, notching double-doubles in his first 11 games and averaging an incredible 18.9 boards per game. But he had just four points and four rebounds in the first half.

He picked up his third foul with five minutes to play in the second quarter and had to go to the bench, and the Pistons struggled to get anything going offensively without their big man there to clean up the glass. After a 7-for-10 start to the game, the Pistons went 9 for 32 to fall behind by 10 points in the first half.

The rookie Towns outplayed him in the first 28 minutes, grabbing one more rebound and taking Drummond away from the basket with his ability to knock down 20-foot jumpers.

The Timberwolves have played very well on the road, with victories over Atlanta, Chicago and Miami, but have played with a startling lack of energy and urgency. The malaise was there again for most of this one, with turnovers, poor shooting and a lack of ball movement in the second unit putting them down nine points early in the fourth.

Drummond got rolling in the third, scoring 15 points, including nine in a row to push the Pistons back in front.

The Wolves finally showed some signs of life in the final five minutes, pulling to 85-80 on a dunk from Zach LaVine.

But Jackson responded with two straight buckets to give the Pistons (7-5) the win.

TIP-INS

Pistons: Drummond’s streak of double-doubles to start the season is one shy of Dave DeBusschere’s 13 straight to open the 1966-67 season, which is the best in franchise history. … Anthony Tolliver spent two seasons in Minnesota. He finished went scoreless on 0-for-7 shooting in 21 minutes. … Stanley Johnson had 15 points and hit 3 of 5 3s.

Timberwolves: F Nemanja Bjelica did not play because of a bruised left knee. … Ricky Rubio had 12 points and seven assists. … LaVine finished with 14 points.

UP NEXT

Pistons: Host Washington on Saturday.

Comments are closed.