AUBURN HILLS, Mich. – Lawrence Frank made it clear before the game that his Detroit Pistons couldn’t afford to lean on any built-in excuses after returning from overseas.
Jet lag, a break in routine and a tough Boston opponent? Frank’s team overcame all of it.
“We bent, and we didn’t break,” the Detroit coach said.
Rookie Andre Drummond had 16 points and seven rebounds, and the Pistons routed the Celtics 103-88 on Sunday night after returning from Europe. Detroit lost to the New York Knicks in London on Thursday, but didn’t look particularly weary in its first game back. The Pistons blew an 18-point second-quarter lead before pulling away again in the second half.
Boston never led.
“We are playing awful and I am clearly not doing my job for this team and I am serious,” Celtics Coach Doc Rivers said. “I am not trying to take a bullet for the team and I told them that. I said we have to find something where all 12 guys play the same way.”
Boston has lost three straight to drop to 20-20 on the season.
Drummond went 5 of 6 from the field, repeatedly slipping free for dunks. He also made 6 of 8 free throws after entering the game shooting 39 percent from the line. That foiled Boston’s short-lived strategy of fouling to put him on the line.
Kevin Garnett scored 16 points for Boston, and Rajon Rondo had eight points, 15 assists, nine rebounds and nine turnovers.
Monroe, Knight and Bynum scored 15 points apiece for Detroit. Courtney Lee had 16 for Boston, and Jeff Green added 15.
Celtics guard Avery Bradley was back after missing a game with a rib injury, but he scored only six points.
“I had double pads on just in case I got hit while I was in the game,” Bradley said. “I just have to fight through it.”
NUGGETS 121, THUNDER 118: Kenneth Faried scored the go-ahead layup in overtime and host Denver overcame 37 points from Kevin Durant and 36 from Russell Westbrook to beat Oklahoma City, snapping the Thunder’s six-game winning streak.
Corey Brewer scored 26 points, including 15 in the fourth quarter, to lead the Nuggets, who avenged a 20-point loss to Oklahoma City last Wednesday. Danilo Gallinari added 18 points and Faried finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds.
RAPTORS 108, LAKERS 103: Landry Fields had a season-high 18 points and 10 rebounds as Toronto sent Los Angeles to its fifth straight road loss.
Kobe Bryant scored 26 points and Pau Gasol had 25 for the Lakers. Dwight Howard was ejected after drawing his second technical foul with 1:18 left in the first half.
Jose Calderon had 22 points and nine assists while Ed Davis had 18 points and eight rebounds for Toronto.
MAVERICKS 111, MAGIC 105: Shawn Marion had 20 points, and O.J. Mayo and Vince Carter scored 15 apiece as Dallas fought off a late surge at Orlando.
The Mavericks led by 13 in the fourth quarter, before the Magic pulled within a basket in the final minute.
Glen Davis led Orlando with 24 points, followed by Jameer Nelson with 20.
SUNS: Phoenix selected player development director Lindsey Hunter as interim coach, two days after the team parted ways with Alvin Gentry.
Hunter played for 17 seasons in the NBA. He joined the Suns in the scouting department last year and this season took over the team’s new player development department.
HEAT: Miami signed Chris Andersen to a 10-day contract.
Andersen worked out for the Heat about two weeks ago and remained in the team’s plans. He has averaged 5.4 points and 5.2 rebounds in his NBA career. His last appearance was with Denver on March 25.
The Heat also brought Jarvis Varnado back for a second 10-day deal.