Pistons feast in frontcourt against Sixers

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. (Duane Burleson/AP)
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. (Duane Burleson/AP)
Posted: December 03, 2013

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. - The 76ers are a scrappy bunch. The Detroit Pistons boast a towering frontcourt.

On Sunday, the tall guys rolled to a one-sided, 115-100 victory at the Palace of Auburn Hills.

"They did a good job of exploiting us inside at first," said Thaddeus Young, the Sixers power forward. "Then we kind of got back into the game. But they were just a big team."

The Sixers (6-12) have lost four consecutive games and 10 of their last 12. They are 3-12 since they won the first three games of the season.

They had a hard time contending with the Pistons' frontcourt of small forward Josh Smith (6-foot-9), power forward Greg Monroe (6-11), and center Andre Drummond (6-11). When they dominated the post, the trio opened up things for other teammates, especially for wide-open three-pointers.

Detroit (7-10) scored 30 of its 52 points in the paint during the first half. The Pistons finished with a 57-41 rebounding advantage and made 10 three-pointers. They made their first six three-point attempts.

"Early, we said we wanted to take away the paint from them," Sixers center Spencer Hawes said. "We know that's what they do. I think they hit a couple of shots early. That kind of got us out of our game plan. And it kind of snowballed."

Drummond finished with career highs of 31 points and 19 rebounds.

"We can't let him get 30 of anything," Young said of Drummond, who was averaging 13.1 points. "So that sums up the game, really, just giving him easy buckets."

Point guard Brandon Jennings added 20 points, a game-high 12 assists, and 6 rebounds. Smith (20 points), reserve guard Rodney Stuckey (17) and guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (10) were Detroit's other double-digit scorers.

Young led the Sixers with 24 points before fouling out in the fourth quarter. Evan Turner added 20, and Michael Carter-Williams had 15 points to go with six steals.

The Pistons led by 40-25 after one quarter, the most points surrendered in the first period by the Sixers this season. Detroit's 70 points at the break were the most the Sixers have given up by intermission.

Trailing, 85-66, the Sixers decided to ugly things up with 4 minutes, 47 seconds remaining in the third quarter to get back into the game.

They fouled Drummond whenever the Pistons crossed midcourt. That tactic worked against the second-year player, who went into the game shooting 28.6 percent from the foul line.

Drummond missed 6 of 8 free throws before he was replaced. But the Sixers pulled within 10 points (92-82) with 24 seconds left in the quarter.

"You really don't like doing it, to be honest with you," Sixers coach Brett Brown said of the tactic. "But . . . it helped our team."

The Sixers were unable to build on it, though.


kpompey@phillynews.com

@PompeyOnSixers

www.inquirer.com/deepsixer

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