INDIANAPOLIS (AP)Andre Drummond scored 32 points and had 23 rebounds, and Luke Kennard made three 3-pointers in the final six minutes to help the Detroit Pistons pull away for a season-opening 119-110 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night.
Kennard scored 30 points, a career best, and matched his career high with six 3s.
Domantas Sabonis had 27 points and 13 rebounds for Indiana, and Myles Turner added 25 points. Malcolm Brogdon had 22 in his Pacers debut.
Indiana started the 6-foot-11 Turner and the 6-11 Sabonis side-by-side with a more aggressive second-half philosophy. But the Pistons quickly erased a 101-97 deficit with eight straight points midway through the fourth quarter – the last six coming on back-to-back 3s from Kennard.
Pistons: Drummond, the NBA leader in double-doubles last season, moved within one game of tying Shaquille O’Neal (34) for the second-most 20-20 game since 1988-89. … Drummond also had four blocks and was 8 of 10 from the free-throw line. … Derrick Rose had 18 points, and Tony Snell 10.
Pacers: T.J. Warren was taken straight to the locker room with 3:46 left to play after a hard spill following an offensive foul. He finished with 10 points in his Pacers debut. … …. Brogdon was 10 of 11 from the free- throw line, and Jeremy Lamb scored 10 points in his first game with Indiana. … The Pacers were outrebounded 45-36.
Two-time All-Star Victor Oladipo has participated in two five-on-five practices since he was cleared by team doctors late last week.
So far, coach Nate McMillan said Oladipo has had looked fine. But he’s also likely weeks away from taking another big step.
”He looks OK out there,” McMillan said, noting Oladipo is only practicing every other day. ”He wants to play a little more but he’s limited for what he can do for the next month or so before he gets re-evaluated.”
REPLACING THE PISTON
Six-time All-Star Blake Griffin missed the game with an injured left hamstring and a sore knee.
And until he returns, the Pistons may find themselves cobbling together spare parts.
”When times get tough, that’s when everyone looks to Blake,” coach Dwane Casey said. ”You know when you go a couple possessions without a basket, we usually look to Blake. So in those situations, who do we go to? I think that’s what we have to find out.”
Pistons: Host Atlanta on Thursday night.
Pacers: At Cleveland on Saturday night.
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