Pistons eke out OT win over Timberwolves
By Patrick Donnelly
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Blake Griffin scored 34 points and Randy Bullock added a career-high 33 as the Detroit Pistons beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 129-123 in overtime on Wednesday night.
Reggie Jackson added 24 points and Andre Drummond had 16 points and 16 rebounds for Detroit, which trailed by 14 going into the fourth quarter but rallied behind its strong 3-point shooting.
Derrick Rose led Minnesota with 33 points, while Robert Covington scored 22 and Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins each had 16.
Trailing by 14 to start the fourth, the Pistons were 9 for 14 on 3s in the quarter to claw their way back into the game. Bullock, who set his previous career high of 24 points on Monday night in Milwaukee, hit 7 of 12 from behind the arc on the night, while Griffin went 5 for 10.
Jackson hit a 3 at the 6-minute mark to cut Minnesota’s lead to 100-98. After Rose answered with a 3 of his own, Bullock drained his sixth 3-pointer of the night, then scored in transition to tie it at 103.
From there, the teams traded baskets, with Griffin and Bullock hitting 3-pointers on one end and Covington and Rose hitting huge shots on the other end.
Covington’s 3-pointer from the corner put Minnesota on top 118-116 with 7.4 seconds to play in regulation. On the Pistons’ last possession, Jackson drove for a layup that rimmed out, but Drummond put the rebound in to force overtime.
Drummond hit a rare 3 with the shot clock running out midway through the overtime period to give Detroit a 123-122 lead. After he and Towns traded free throws, Jackson converted a drive to put the Pistons up by three with 1:28 to go in the extra session.
On Minnesota’s next possession, Towns got the ball down low and hit a short shot but he was called for an offensive foul, his sixth foul of the night, and the Pistons were able to hold on for the win.
Minnesota fell behind 12-0 and missed its first eight 3-point attempts, but the Wolves finally cashed in when Covington made one from beyond the arc with 6 minutes to play in the second quarter, giving Minnesota a 44-37 lead that grew to 62-53 at halftime.
Pistons: Griffin was coming off his ninth career triple-double and first of the season on Monday at Milwaukee. … F Glenn Robinson (sprained left ankle) missed his fourth straight game, while G Ish Smith remains out with a right groin injury he suffered two weeks ago.
Timberwolves: Teague missed his second straight game with left ankle inflammation. … G Jerryd Bayless dressed for the first time with the Timberwolves. He hasn’t played since spraining his left knee in training camp with the 76ers. The Wolves acquired him in the Jimmy Butler trade on Nov. 12.
Timberwolves: At San Antonio on Friday night.