Drummond goes big to lead Pistons

Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond (0) drives to the basket against New York Knicks forward Luke Kornet during the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, March 31, 2018, at Madison Square Garden in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

By BRIAN MAHONEY

AP Basketball Writer

NEW YORK — Andre Drummond narrowly missed a second straight 20-20 game with 22 points and 17 rebounds, and the Detroit Pistons beat the New York Knicks 115-109 on Saturday for their fourth straight victory.

Reggie Jackson and Anthony Tolliver each scored 17 points for the Pistons, who won for the sixth time in seven games despite playing without the injured Blake Griffin. Reggie Bullock added 16.

Drummond was 8 for 13 from the floor and the formerly woeful free throw shooter was 6 of 8 from the line. The All-Star center had 24 points and 23 rebounds in a victory over Washington on Thursday and leads the NBA with seven 20-point, 20-rebound games this season.

Griffin had an MRI Thursday on his right ankle that revealed a bone bruise. The Pistons said he will be re-evaluated in one week and a timetable for his return to action will be provided as appropriate.

Michael Beasley scored 32 points and Trey Burke Jr. added 18 points and 15 assists for the Knicks, who have dropped three straight. Tim Hardaway Jr. also scored 18 points.

The Pistons swept the three-game season series, having won the other two games by a combined seven points.

The game was close throughout and Detroit finally opened the first double-digit lead of the night for either team at 111-101 on Ish Smith’s basket with under 2 1/2 minutes remaining.

There was a moment of silence before the game for Zeke Upshaw, who died after collapsing on the court while playing in a game for the Grand Rapids Drive, the Pistons’ affiliate in the NBA G League. Detroit coach Stan Van Gundy said Pistons chief of staff Andrew Loomis and assistant coach Rex Walters had represented the organization at Upshaw’s funeral.

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