Pistons thump Timberwolves, 117-90
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Andre Drummond had 22 points and 22 rebounds for his second straight 20-20 game and the Detroit Pistons cruised to a 117-90 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday night.
Marcus Morris had 15 points and seven rebounds and the Pistons had their way with Minnesota’s struggling defense, hitting 14 of 29 3-pointers. Detroit came into the game second-to-last in the NBA averaging just 7.1 made 3s per game.
Andrew Wiggins scored 16 points and Karl-Anthony Towns had 14 points and 12 rebounds for the Wolves. They have lost seven of their last eight games.
Drummond had his fifth 20-20 game of the season and 10th since 2014-15, the most in the NBA during that span, and Detroit won for the fourth time on the road in the last five games after starting the season 1-8 away from home.
The Pistons were coming off of a season-low 77 points in a loss to the Charlotte Hornets, but found no such resistance from the Timberwolves, who have been a disaster on the defensive end this season despite adding defensive specialist Tom Thibodeau as coach this season.
Detroit broke the game open in the third quarter, hitting six 3s during a 31-10 run that bled into the fourth and prompted boos from a sparse Target Center crowd.
Reggie Jackson scored 16 points in his fourth game back from a left knee injury.
The Wolves started out the season as the best 3-point shooting team in the NBA, an enormous improvement from recent seasons when they have languished near the bottom of the league. They have steadily regressed to the mean, however, and made just 3 of 16 3s on Friday night. They went through a stretch of 13 straight misses before Brandon Rush made one, his first since Nov. 1, in garbage time.
Pistons rookie Henry Ellenson is from Rice Lake, Wisconsin, a two-hour drive from Target Center. Ellenson said more than 150 people were making the trip for his first game in Minnesota. It was such an anticipated night that Rice Lake High School rescheduled its boys and girls basketball games so more people from the town could make it.
The Rice Lake High School band also played during pregame warmups.
The vocal contingent cheered “Put in Henry!” as the game got out of hand in the fourth, and cheered wildly when he finally entered with four minutes to play.
Timberwolves forward Adreian Payne played for the first time in seven games, but was ejected after being given a Flagrant-2 foul for elbowing Morris while fighting for a rebound under the basket in the fourth quarter.
Pistons: F Jon Leuer, a native of Orono, also made a homecoming. He scored 17 points. … Drummond air-balled a free throw in the first quarter.
Timberwolves: Ricky Rubio had a rare good shooting night, hitting 4 of 5 shots for 10 points. … F Nemanja Bjelica missed the game with a sore right ankle. … Gorgui Dieng had 13 points and seven rebounds.
Pistons: Detroit heads home to host Philadelphia on Sunday.
Timberwolves: Minnesota stays home to host the Golden State Warriors, who will be playing the second night of a back-to-back, on Sunday.