Trail Blazers Down Pistons 109-103
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By ANNE M. PETERSON/AP Sports Writer
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – Damian Lillard bounced back from a miserable shooting night with 25 points, making five 3-pointers, and the Portland Trail Blazers held off the Detroit Pistons 109-103 on Monday night.
LaMarcus Aldridge added 18 points and 12 rebounds for the Blazers, who led by as many as 13 points in the second half.
Brandon Jennings had 28 points and four rebounds for Detroit. Acquired by the Pistons in an offseason sign-and-trade with Milwaukee, Jennings came into the game the game needing one rebound for 1,000 in his career, and one point for 5,000.
It was Portland’s sixth straight victory at home over the Pistons.
Jennings’ alley-oop layup from Rodney Stuckey pulled the Pistons within 107-103 with 1:28 left. After he stole the ball from Lillard and was fouled by Nicolas Batum, Jennings drove to the basket but missed a layup and fouled Lillard on the rebound.
Lillard made free throws for the final margin and Stuckey missed a 3-pointer on the other end.
The Trail Blazers were coming off a pair of victories over the Sacramento Kings in a home-and-away back-to-back. Lillard, last season’s NBA Rookie of the Year, was 1 of 15 from the floor with four points in the Blazers’ 96-85 victory on Saturday night.
Portland was one of just five teams in the NBA with two players averaging more than 20 points. Aldridge was averaging 23.3 points and Lillard was averaging 20.5 heading into the game.
Aldridge hit a 15-footer that put the Blazers out in front 20-11 in the first quarter. Portland held onto the lead through the second, going up 38-30 on Dorell Wright’s layup. Detroit came back with a 13-4 run capped by Stuckey’s 3-pointer to pull ahead 43-42.
Greg Monroe’s jumper knotted the score at 51 but Lillard answered with a 3-pointer and the Blazers went on to lead 58-55 at the half.
Aldridge made an acrobatic layup and Joel Freeland added a basket to give the Blazers a 77-70 lead late in the third quarter. Andre Drummond’s alley-oop dunk narrowed it to 83-80 for the Pistons to open the fourth quarter.
Robin Lopez’s slam off Batum’s no-look pass with 4:29 left gave the Blazers their biggest lead of the game at 104-92. Lopez, acquired by the Blazers in a three-team trade this summer from New Orleans, finished with 17points and 10 rebounds.
Charlie Villanueva made his season debut for the Pistons after returning from a shoulder injury.
Detroit was coming off a 119-110 loss to Oklahoma City on Friday night. Jennings had his first double-double with the Pistons with 22 points and 11 assists against the Thunder.
Notes: Detroit coach Mo Cheeks was coach of the Blazers for three-plus seasons from 2001-05. … Rasheed Wallace, who played for the Blazers from 1996-2004, is an assistant on Cheeks’ staff. … The Blazers and the Pistons split their series last season, with each team winning at home.
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