Drummond, Pistons outlast strong effort from 76ers


110. 64. 97. 93. Final

The Pistons overcame an awful first quarter to defeat the 76ers in what was a much closer game than the final score indicates. Despite being without their leading scorer Jahlil Okafor, the 76ers came ready to play and pushed the Pistons to the limit on their home floor.

This was a close game until late in the fourth quarter, and the 76ers even led by ten at one point in the first half. It took big nights from Reggie Jackson and Andre Drummond, effective minutes off the bench from Stanley Johnson and Aron Baynes, and a lopsided fourth quarter, but the Pistons pulled out an important win.

Here are the grades:

A. Reggie had another efficient night offensively, scoring 27 points on 9-18 shooting, including 4-5 from beyond the arc, and he played the role of the closer once again. You’d like to see the starting point guard dish out more than two assists, but that number would have been higher had it not been for a decent amount of missed open shots. The two turnovers are more than acceptable for the primary ball handler.. PG. Pistons. REGGIE JACKSON

B. KCP struggled shooting in the first half, but got it going in the third quarter and finished with 14 points (all in the second half) and four rebounds. The great thing about KCP is his ability to impact the game even when his shot isn’t falling. He exhibited that tonight when he was able to slow down and frustrate Ish Smith late in the fourth quarter after Smith had started to impose his will on the game. His disruption of the groove Smith had gotten into allowed the Pistons to pull away for good.. SG. Pistons. KENTAVIOUS CALDWELL-POPE

A. Stanley overcame a sloppy start to have a great game off the bench. He scored 18 points on 8-16 shooting with three rebounds and three assists, and was a team best +16 on the night. He shot just 1-4 from three, but it was his energy and strong drives to the hoop that made a big difference in the game. When he plays hard, smart and under control like he did tonight, he looks like he belongs in the Rookie of the Year conversation.. SF. Pistons. STANLEY JOHNSON

C. Marcus didn’t have a great game offensively, but he made some hustle plays and pulled down eight rebounds to go along with his 10 points. Despite shooting just 4-11, he was +12 on the night which was second only to Stanley Johnson.. SF. Pistons. MARCUS MORRIS

Andre bounced back in a big way tonight. He had a monster game, scoring 25 points and pulling down 18 rebounds, including nine on the offensive glass. He also hit 7 of 12 free throws, including 3 of 4 when he was intentionally fouled late in the fourth quarter. He gave up some easy buckets (including a poster dunk) to Nerlens Noel, but his size and effort wore the 76ers down as the game went on.. A. Pistons. ANDRE DRUMMOND. A

A. Baynes is making Stan Van Gundy look more and more like a genius for signing him this past off season. Every time he steps on the floor he provides a spark and makes plays. He did plenty of that tonight, scoring 12 points on 4-6 shooting with four rebounds, three assists and two steals in just 12 minutes. Had Drummond struggled tonight, Baynes looked more than ready to step up and have a big night.. C. Pistons. ARON BAYNES

Pistons. BRANDON JENNINGS. C-. Brandon was mostly ineffective in his 17 minutes. He scored just one point, but he did make a couple of nice passes to get Stanley Johnson and Aron Baynes open looks. He didn’t help the Pistons’ cause too much tonight, but he didn’t hurt it, either.. PG

D+. Tolliver struggled with his shot, missing all three of his attempts, and he had a tough time defending the 76ers small lineups, but I thought he did a little better than Ilyasova on the defensive end. . PF. Pistons. ANTHONY TOLLIVER

D. Ilyasova really struggled on both ends tonight. He scored just three points on 1-6 shooting, and he could not stay in front of Jerami Grant on defense. The match up problem limited him to just 20 minutes. He did manage to pull down eight rebounds.. PF. Pistons. ERSAN ILYASOVA

A. Coach Van Gundy could not have been pleased with his team’s first quarter performance, but I think he realized that at least part of it was due to some pretty good defense being played by the 76ers. I thought the Pistons made some adjustments offensively in the second half which lead to several dunks for Andre and some driving lanes for Reggie and Stanley. I also thought SVG did a good job recognizing the match up problems that the 76ers forwards were exploiting. Going with a smaller lineup with Stanley Johnson and Marcus Morris on the floor to end the game was a smart move.  . Head Coach. Pistons. STAN VAN GUNDY