Detroit Pistons forward Josh Smith (6) steals the ball from Philadelphia 76ers forward Evan Turner during the first half of an NBA basketball game on Sunday, Dec. 1, 2013, in Auburn Hills, Mich. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Andre Drummond had 31 points, 19 rebounds and six steals as the Detroit Pistons beat the Philadelphia 76ers 115-100 today.
Drummond was limited to 34 minutes, but he still became the first player to have at least 31 points, 19 rebounds and six steals in a game since Hakeem Olajuwon in 1990. He set career highs in all three categories, two days after Maurice Cheeks left him on the bench for the last 21 minutes of Detroit’s loss to the Lakers.
Brandon Jennings and Josh Smith added 20 points each for the Pistons, while Thaddeus Young had 24 for Philadelphia before fouling out late in the game.
The Sixers generally play at a much higher pace than the Pistons, so the up-tempo first half should have been a perfect fit for them. Instead, it was Detroit which dominated the half, scoring 40 points in the first quarter and leading by as many as 25 on the way to a 70-46 lead. The Pistons outshot Philadelphia 55.1 percent to 39.1 percent, and had a 31-14 advantage on the boards.
Jennings dominated his matchup with rookie Michael Carter-Williams in the half, outscoring him 13-8 and handing out 11 assists to just three for Carter-Williams. Drummond also had a first-half double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds. The Pistons had five players score in double figures in the half, while Philadelphia didn’t have any.
The 76ers tried to drive Drummond out of the game by intentionally fouling him. He might be the worst free throw shooter in league history — he entered the game shooting 27 percent from the line — and Detroit collapsed late against the Lakers with him on the bench.
Drummond went 3 for 12 from the line in the third quarter before being removed, and Detroit was taken out of its first-half offensive rhythm. The Sixers cut the margin to 94-82 going into the fourth, and the Pistons had to put Drummond back into the game. To make matters worse, Greg Monroe was ejected with 10:15 remaining for picking up a second technical foul for arguing calls.
Drummond, though, finished off a three-point play and then swished a pair of free throws to give the Pistons a 103-85 lead with 9:04 to play.
NOTES: Detroit native Bob Seger was in attendance and conducted the crowd in a sing-a-long of his hit “Old Time Rock-n-Roll” during a first-half timeout. ... Detroit wore their dark-blue “Motor City” jerseys for the second straight home game, while Philadelphia wore their white jerseys.