AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) — 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 Detroit's 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 percent from the foul line on the season — and that's actually a substantial improvement. At one point he was 3 for 17, but now he's 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 Detroit's Kyle Singler made two free throws with 10.4 seconds left. The Pistons snapped a three-game losing streak and ended Brooklyn's three-game winning streak.
Deron Williams led Brooklyn with 22 points. The Nets were without center Brook Lopez, who sat out with a sprained left ankle.
"It doesn't matter who plays for us or who we're playing, we have to protect the paint and we didn't do that tonight," Nets coach Jason Kidd said. "There's some improvement — we kept fighting down the stretch even when we got behind — but we can't 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. Brooklyn's 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 Detroit's 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.