03/22 00:01 CDT Ellington, Drummond lead Pistons past Suns, 118-98
Ellington, Drummond lead Pistons past Suns, 118-98
By JOSE M. ROMERO
PHOENIX (AP) --- Wayne Ellington scored 23 points and the Detroit Pistons made
17 3-pointers in a 118-98 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Thursday night.
The Pistons turned a five-point lead early in the fourth quarter into a
13-point advantage in a span of less than two minutes, featuring two dunks by
Andre Drummond. Drummond finished with 16 points and 19 rebounds.
Blake Griffin, who was rested for Detroit's loss at Cleveland on Monday,
returned and struggled with his shot, going just 4 of 17. But he finished with
17 points, eight rebounds and seven assists.
Detroit outscored Phoenix 31-18 in the fourth quarter. The Pistons have won
three of four and are in sixth place in the Eastern Conference after 71 games
Devin Booker scored 20 of his 26 points in the first half for the Suns, who
have lost four of five. Deandre Ayton added 20 points.
Suns forward Josh Jackson left the game with 5:45 left in the third quarter
after leaping to block Thon Maker's shot attempt at the rim and landing
awkwardly on his right ankle. Jackson got up and was helped off the court, and
his injury was announced as a sprained ankle.
The Suns got off to a strong start, making 13 of 19 shots in the first quarter
for a 32-29 lead. Booker scored 15 points in the quarter on 6-of-7 shooting.
Back-to-back 3s from Luke Kennard off the Pistons bench gave Detroit an early
second-quarter lead, but neither team led by more than five points throughout
the first half. Kennard finished with 16 points.
Ellington, who earlier in the season was traded to the Suns but bought out
before ever suiting up in Phoenix colors, had 13 first-half points.
Ayton scored 14 first-half points on 6-of-8 shooting, and the Suns led 60-58 at
Ellington's 3 over a double-team gave the Pistons an 81-72 lead with 3:32 left
in the third quarter.
The Suns turned the ball over 19 times for the game, and one led to Drummond's
transition dunk with 9:34 to play in the fourth quarter for a 93-84 lead.
'BOOK' A SELFIE
A fan sitting courtside got a perfectly timed photo of himself with the court
in the background, and Booker --- walking by at the exact moment --- looking at
Members of the Arizona Diamondbacks attended Thursday's game, with outfielders
Adam Jones and Steven Souza Jr. taking part in a 3-point shooting contest for
charity between the first and second quarters. Outfielder David Peralta also
attended, sitting courtside.
PISTONS: Detroit has won five straight against the Suns. ... Former Suns guard
Ish Smith had 11 points in 24 minutes. ... Griffin was assessed a technical
foul early in the third quarter moments after he'd been called for an offensive
SUNS: F Kelly Oubre Jr. missed his second straight game with a left thumb
sprain. ... G Tyler Johnson missed his fourth straight game with a sore right
knee. ... F-C Richaun Holmes was cleared to play before the game and returned
after missing two games with a strained quadriceps. He took a nasty spill
trying to block Griffin's shot in the first quarter, landing neck-first on the
court, but stayed in the game.
Pistons: At Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday night.
Suns: At Sacramento Kings on Saturday night.
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