Rookie center powers Pistons past Celtics

Posted Jan. 20, 2013, at 11:30 p.m.

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Rookie center Andre Drummond had 16 points to lead a balanced attack as the Detroit Pistons never trailed in a 103-88 victory over the Boston Celtics at The Palace on Sunday.

Brandon Knight, Greg Monroe and Will Bynum scored 15 apiece for the Pistons, who had six players in double figures.

The Celtics (20-20) lost their third straight while the Pistons (15-25) ended a two-game slide. Detroit also clinched the three-game season series, as it defeated the Celtics 103-83 in the first meeting on Nov. 18.

Kevin Garnett and Courtney Lee scored 16 apiece for Boston. Rajon Rondo, who scored a season-high 30 points against Chicago on Friday, was limited to eight points and Paul Pierce had just 10.

Sloppy play was the norm, as the teams combined for 39 turnovers.

A 15-4 Pistons run gave them a 70-58 lead midway through the third quarter. The Celtics scored the next eight points but the Pistons nudged the advantage back to 10, 81-71, by the end of the quarter.

Detroit opened the fourth quarter with an 8-2 spurt, including a Drummond alley-oop dunk, for an 89-73 lead. Boston never got closer than 10 points the rest of the way even though the Pistons went through a 4:27 scoreless drought.

Detroit led by 18 early in the second quarter, but the Celtics turned up the defensive pressure to pull within 52-48 by halftime. Boston forced seven turnovers in the quarter and scored 12 points off them. The Celtics got a big boost from their bench, as Jeff Green and Lee each scored 12 first-half points.

Knight, who scored just one point in the Pistons’ loss to New York in London on Thursday, had 12 points to lead his club in the early going.

NOTES: Garnett appeared in his 1,295th career game. He will tie Mark Jackson for 13th place on the NBA games played list with his next appearance. …. Monroe averaged 20.3 points and 10.3 rebounds in his last four games against Boston. … The Pistons won the season series a year ago, 2-1. The teams will play once more in Boston on April 3 … Drummond has the third-most blocks by a rookie in franchise history. He entered the game with 64. John Salley (1986-87) holds the record with 125. … The Celtics have employed 11 different lineups this season, while the Pistons have used just two. …. Detroit was 0-20 when trailing after three quarters before Sunday. … Boston rookie Jared Sullinger had at least 11 rebounds in three of the previous five games. “For a team that struggles to rebound, he’s their best offensive rebounder,” Pistons coach Lawrence Frank said. “You look at how he does it, he gets right into guys, he wedges guys, he’ll even go out of bounds and get back in.”

Toronto 108, Lakers 103: Jose Calderon scored 22 points and added nine assists as the Toronto Raptors ended a four-game losing streak by defeating the Los Angeles Lakers 108-103 Sunday before a crowd of 19,800 at Air Canada Centre.

Landry Fields added his second double-double of the season scoring a season-best 18 points and adding 10 rebounds. Ed Davis also scored 18 for Toronto and had eight rebounds while Alan Anderson scored 14 points and had eight assists off the bench.

It was the Raptors’ first victory over the Lakers since Jan. 24, 2010. Sunday’s win snapped a four-game losing streak to the Lakers.

Kobe Bryant led the Lakers with 26 points. Pau Gasol added 25 points while Earl Clark had 14 points and 14 rebounds and Steve Nash scored 16 points with nine assists.

Toronto snapped another streak. They entered the game with a 0-20 record when their opponents scored 100 or more points.

The Lakers lost center Dwight Howard with 1:18 to play in the first half for picking up his second technical foul of the game. Raptors forward Anderson picked up a technical foul, at the same time. Howard had five points and two rebounds.

Toronto led by 13 going in the fourth quarter. After Kyle Lowry hit two straight 3-pointers in the opening minutes of the fourth, Toronto’s lead was 91-76. Terrence Ross and Anderson added two-points each and Toronto led by 19 with 7:20 to play.

The Lakers came back with consecutive 3-pointers by Bryant and when Antawn Jamison added two, Toronto’s lead was cut to 10. Clark hit a 3-pointer to cut the lead to seven with 3:30 to play.

Bryant hit a 3-pointer with 1:35 to play to reduce Toronto’s lead to six points. But Amir Johnson’s layup with 1:02 to play had the Raptors up, 105-97.

After leading by as many as 16 points in the first quarter, the Raptors led by four points entering the second half. DeMar DeRozan’s driving layup with 4:44 to play in the third quarter bumped Toronto’s advantage to nine points, which reached 11 with 2:40 left in the quarter after Davis hit a jump hook shot. He was fouled on the play but missed his free throw.

Anderson hit a 3-pointer and it was 81-67 for the Raptors. Bryant came back with a jumper and a free throw but Fields finished the third-quarter scoring with a layup and Toronto led, 83-70.

The Raptors held 53-49 advantage after the first half. They started the game quickly and raced to a 25-9 lead and still were in front 29-20 after one quarter.

 

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