AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — The feisty Detroit Pistons?
With one minute, 26 seconds left in the first half, Philadelphia’s Evan Turner went to the basket and was fouled by Pistons rookie Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.
Turner (15 points), walking away, threw the ball in the direction of Caldwell-Pope, hitting him in the face. Brandon Jennings took exception and threw the ball back at Turner. Turner and Jennings received technical fouls as two struggling teams tried to put up a fight for a today night Palace crowd that braved the elements to watch the Pistons’ 113-96 victory.
Owner Tom Gores, in attendance, emerged from the shadows to witness the scrap just before halftime.
Caldwell-Pope was struggling making shots, going 1-for-5 in the first half, but he responded with a triple and dunk in the third quarter, helping the Pistons go on a 22-7 run that swelled their lead to 79-56.
The rookie scored 10 in the third to lead all scorers. The home team scored 36 points and shot 13-for-23 from the field and 6-for-11 from beyond the arc in picking up just its ninth home victory in 24 games.
With an extra day off because of Wednesday’s postponement in Atlanta, the Pistons faced a Philadelphia team that was drilled by 26 points Friday night at Atlanta.
As the Pistons were pounding the 76ers in the third, Jennings drained a three-pointer to make it 89-65 and stared at Turner as coach Brett Brown was forced to call a time-out.
After throwing up a couple of bad shots early, the Pistons used an approach that they often abandon: get the ball inside.
Greg Monroe (21 points, 12 rebounds) did some early offensive work with four points as the the Pistons built a 17-11 lead. Andre Drummond made his first five field goal attempts as Detroit’s lead increased to 23-15. He finished with 22 points and 14 rebounds, missing just one shot from the field.
The Pistons’ big men combined for 22 points in the first quarter to open up a 32-22 lead, offsetting Jennings’ (20 points, four assists) 1-for-5 performance from the field.