NBA: Pistons pull to .500, into playoff picture
Andre Drummond had 17 points and 17 rebounds, and the Detroit Pistons beat the Portland Trail Blazers 111-91 on Monday night for their fourth straight win.
The victory pulled the Pistons back to .500 and even with Philadelphia for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Blake Griffin had 21 points, nine rebounds and six assists, and did damage from the perimeter, making three three-pointers.
Detroit had 36 assists on 44 field goals.
Drummond and Griffin seem to be developing chemistry, and they combined for 11 assists.
“It can only get better from here,” Drummond said. “He’s going a great job of adjusting right now. We didn’t really understand what was going to happen when we first got him. We didn’t know how long it was going to take for him to adjust, but him being the professional that he is, he adjusted very quickly.”
Detroit has won three in a row with Griffin. Saturday, coach Stan Van Gundy said the Pistons might be playing through Griffin too much. He still led Detroit in scoring Monday, but the Pistons had plenty of threats.
“They had one action — dribble handoff out of the corner — and they kept getting down to the center of our defense,” said Portland’s Damian Lillard, who had 20 points.
Drummond has 266 double-doubles since entering the NBA in 2012-13. He’s tied with DeMarcus Cousins for the most in that span.
Utah 133, at New Orleans 109: Rodney Hood scored 30 points in his second game back from injury and the Jazz scored a season high in winning their sixth straight.
at Denver 121, Charlotte 104: Gary Harris had 27 points and Nikola Jokic had 15 points and 16 rebounds in the Nuggets’ third win in a row.
Washington 111, at Indiana 102: Bradley Beal had 21 points as the Wizards won their fifth straight without John Wall. The Pacers were without Victor Oladipo (sick) and Darren Collison (knee sur-gery), who’s out two to three weeks.
Orlando 111, at Miami 109: Mario Hezonja scored 20 points and Jonathan Simmons made the tiebreaking dunk with 1:31 left as the Magic handed the Heat their fourth straight loss.
at Sacramento 104, Chicago 98: Bogdan Bogdanovic made a tiebreaking three with 52 seconds left and the Kings rallied from 21 down to sweep the season series.
at Clippers 104, Dallas 101
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