Drummond leads way as Pistons protect lead, rout Nuggets

Andre Drummond piled up 27 points, 12 rebounds, three assists and three blocks in 26 minutes and the host Detroit Pistons snapped the Denver Nuggets’ six-game winning streak with a 129-103 victory on Monday.

The Pistons bounced back from a damaging home loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday in which they squandered a 25-point lead. They had no keeping their big lead against depleted Denver.

The Nuggets were missing three of their starters.

Point guard Jamal Murray missed his sixth straight game with an ankle injury, and shooting guard Gary Harris sat out his third consecutive game with a groin injury. Power forward Paul Millsap was out with right ankle soreness.

Stanley Johnson had 21 points and six rebounds off the bench for Detroit, while another reserve, Langston Galloway, supplied 18 points. Blake Griffin contributed 17 points, seven rebounds and four assists, while Reggie Jackson and Luke Kennard each scored 14 points.

Denver, which entered the night tied with Golden State for the best record in the Western Conference, was led by reserve Trey Lyles with 20 points. Monte Morris had 18 points, Malik Beasley and Nikola Jokic scored 16 apiece and Mason Plumlee chipped in 15 points, 11 rebounds and six assists.

Detroit outscored Denver 34-19 in the second quarter to grab a 68-55 halftime lead. The Pistons had three starters in double figures, led by Drummond with 13. Jokic paced the Nuggets with 14 points, but he also committed three fouls.

Thanks to Drummond, the league’s top rebounder, the Pistons maintained that double-digit advantage throughout the second half.

Drummond scored 14 points in the third quarter, mainly due to his offensive rebounding. He had a putback 1:40 into the half and made three more during the quarter along with a hook shot, a layup and two free throws.

Detroit carried a 97-83 lead into the fourth despite a Lyles 3-pointer in the final second of the third quarter.

Johnson extended the Pistons’ lead to 20 in the first two minutes of the fourth with a three-point play and a 3-point shot.