AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) – Andre Drummond had 15 points and 21 assists, Brandon Jennings narrowly missed a triple-double and the Detroit Pistons beat the Brooklyn Nets 111-95 Friday night.
Jennings finished with 26 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists as Detroit had six players in double figures.
With the Nets resting Kevin Garnett, the starting lineup struggled badly, combining for just 42 points. Jason Terry’s 18 off the bench helped Brooklyn rally late.
With Garnett on the bench, the Nets had no answer for Detroit inside. When the Pistons weren’t feeding Drummond, Josh Smith and Greg Monroe in the post, Rodney Stuckey and Jennings were driving to the basket with ease.
Smith finished with 23 points and Drummond and Kyle Singler had 16 apiece.
Joe Johnson added 16 for the Nets.
Brooklyn’s struggles reached a peak early in the second quarter. With Smith swooping for a fast-break dunk, Mirza Teletovic swiped at the ball, but caught Smith in the face.
Teletovic was given a flagrant foul, giving Smith the rare chance to get two chances to make one free throw to complete the three-point play.
He made it on the second try, but Detroit kept the ball because of the flagrant foul. Chauncey Billups, playing for the first time since Jan. 10, sent a behind-the-back pass to set up Drummond for an easy dunk and a five-point possession.
That put the Pistons up by 20, and they were ahead 67-44 at the intermission. Smith (17) was one of four Pistons in double figures, while Jennings had 10 points, nine assists, six rebounds and six turnovers.
The Nets were outshot 62 percent to 31 percent in the half and didn’t get much better in the third quarter, with a series of turnovers leading to Detroit fast breaks. At one point, the Pistons were comfortable enough that Jennings threw an alley-oop off the backboard that both Smith and Drummond tried to dunk. The ball rolled off the rim, but with no Nets hustling back, Drummond had an easy tip-in.
Terry’s 3-point shooting sparked a Nets rally that got them from 29 down to within 10 points with two minutes left, but the deficit was too much to overcome. The Pistons only scored six points in the first 10 minutes of the fourth before Stuckey’s jumper moved the margin back to 12.
Terry hit another 3, cutting the lead to 104-95, but the Pistons hit enough free throws to avoid another embarrassing fourth-quarter collapse.
© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.