Subiect: three-game losing streak and ended Brooklyns
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Andre Drummond is starting to look more comfortable at the foul line -- and on this night, those extra free throws he made turned out to be crucial. Drummond had 22 points and 13 rebounds, going 6 of 8 from the free throw line in Detroits 103-99 victory over Brooklyn on Friday night. The Pistons led by 21 early in the third quarter before holding off a determined rally by the Nets. Drummond is shooting 41 per cent from the foul line on the season -- and thats actually a substantial improvement. At one point he was 3 for 17, but now hes developed a routine, holding the ball for several seconds before releasing the shot. "I work hard at it every day, so the results are going to show up sooner rather than later," Drummond said. "Tonight was an example of the hard work I put into it." The Nets cut their deficit to two before Detroits Kyle Singler made two free throws with 10.4 seconds left. The Pistons snapped a three-game losing streak and ended Brooklyns three-game winning streak. Deron Williams led Brooklyn with 22 points. The Nets were without centre Brook Lopez, who sat out with a sprained left ankle. "It doesnt matter who plays for us or who were playing, we have to protect the paint and we didnt do that tonight," Nets coach Jason Kidd said. "Theres some improvement -- we kept fighting down the stretch even when we got behind -- but we cant get that far behind." Greg Monroe added 22 points for the Pistons, and Rodney Stuckey had 17. Detroit outscored the Nets 38-20 in the second quarter and led 61-44 at halftime. Brooklyns Mirza Teletovic, who did not attempt a shot in the first half, scored 17 points in the second, making his first five shots from 3-point range. His final points pulled the Nets within 98-91, and a tip-in by Andray Blatche cut the margin to five. Teletovic finally missed from beyond the arc, and Blatche missed two free throws with 1:38 to play. Then Monroe made a hook inside to make it 100-93 with 54 seconds left. Williams was fouled while shooting a 3-pointer with 51 seconds left and made all three shots, cutting the lead to four. After an offensive foul on Josh Smith, the Nets had a chance to pull even closer, but Detroits Brandon Jennings knocked the ball out of bounds off Williams leg as the Brooklyn guard drove to the basket, giving the Pistons the ball back with 24 seconds left. Monroe made one of two free throws with 18.5 seconds to play, but Paul Pierces 3-pointer made it 101-99. Singler calmly went to the line and made both of his free throws to make it a two-possession game again. "Weve just got to learn from it," Detroits Chauncey Billups said after the big lead nearly slipped away. "Weve got to just quit playing not to lose the game. ... If you do, and you get hesitant and you get passive and the other team gets aggressive, thats what happens." With Lopez out, Brooklyn couldnt do much about Drummond and Monroe inside. Drummonds most impressive play may have been when he tipped the ball back over his head and into the basket with one hand after Jennings missed everything on a wild shot from the perimeter. That gave the Pistons a 50-39 lead. Drummond had 18 points and seven rebounds at the half, and Stuckey had 16 points. In the third quarter, Drummond missed a dunk along the baseline but was able to tip the ball in almost immediately to give Detroit a 74-55 lead. "That front line is tough," Blatche said. "They are great offensive rebounders and they just pounded us out there. The guards are driving to the basket and the bigs are just all over the boards. We definitely missed Brook, because at least hes a big body out there." Brooklyns Kevin Garnett surpassed 14,000 rebounds in the second half. He joined Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Karl Malone as the only players to reach 25,000 points, 14,000 rebounds and 5,000 assists. 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