By Noah Trister
DETROIT (AP) — Andre Drummond scored 14 of his 24 points in the third quarter — thanks mostly to an uncharacteristically sharp performance from the free throw line — and the Detroit Pistons beat the Milwaukee Bucks 105-96 on Friday night.
Drummond, who has shot under 40 percent from the line in his career, went 10 of 12 in the third, drawing a roar of approval from fans. He went 14 for 16 on the night, the most he’s ever made in his career, and is shooting 78 percent from the line this season.
Avery Bradley scored 19 of his 23 points in the first half for the Pistons, who went on a 21-5 run late in the second quarter and led 59-48 at halftime. The lead was 17 early in the third, and Drummond helped hold off the Bucks for the rest of that period.
Detroit went on a 9-1 run to start the fourth and led 91-73.
Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 29 points for Milwaukee.
There have been a surprising number of empty seats in the first season for the Pistons at Little Caesars Arena, and that was the case again Friday, but there were enough fans to create a lively atmosphere, especially as Drummond made free throw after free throw in the third. Toward the end of the period, he waved his hand to ask for more noise after drawing a foul, and the crowd obliged.
Detroit, which entered the game tied with Indiana for first place in the Central Division, has won four of five. This was the first game back home for the Pistons after a road trip that included a win at Golden State.
Bucks: Khris Middleton, coming off a 43-point performance Wednesday against Charlotte, scored 16. … Milwaukee was without Greg Monroe, sidelined because of a left calf strain.
Pistons: Detroit played without Jon Leuer due to a left ankle sprain.
Bucks: At Cleveland on Tuesday night.
Pistons: Host Sacramento on Saturday night.
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