AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) — 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.
"I was really proud of Andre, the way he responded when they resort to hack-a-Drummond," Frank said. "You know you're in the league when they do that."
Kevin Garnett scored 16 points for Boston, and Rajon Rondo had eight points, 15 assists, nine rebounds and nine turnovers.
The Celtics wiped out an 18-point second-quarter deficit before the first half even ended, but Detroit led 52-48 after scoring the last four points before the break. It was a one-point game in the third before Brandon Knight and Tayshaun Prince made 3-pointers for the Pistons to make it 61-54.
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