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Drummond has big day for Pistons

Updated: 2013-12-03 07:33
By Associated Press in Auburn Hills, Michigan ( China Daily)

Andre Drummond knows he's a poor free-throw shooter. He still doesn't like it when teams make an effort to remind him.

On an afternoon when the Philadelphia 76ers started intentionally fouling him in the third quarter, the 20-year-old forward responded with a performance the NBA hasn't seen in 23 years.

That was the difference in Detroit's 115-100 victory on Sunday.

Drummond sat out the end of the third quarter after missing nine of 12 free throws in the period, but in the 34 minutes he did play, he became the first player to have 31 points, 19 rebounds and six steals in a game since Hakeem Olajuwon in 1990. He set career highs in all three categories, two days after Maurice Cheeks left him on the bench for the last 21 minutes of Detroit's loss to the Lakers.

"That's a slap in the face for any player, so you get fired up," said Drummond. "You can't get angry and lose your focus, though. I just told myself it was a good chance to work on my free-throw shooting and put some points on the board."

Philadelphia coach Brett Brown, who watched Gregg Popovich use the strategy during his days as an assistant in San Antonio, said he didn't enjoy the idea, but thought it was his team's only chance when it trailed by 24 points at halftime.

"It is one of the ugly parts of the game," Brown said. "You do not really like doing it, but it is a rule and it helped our team."

The Pistons are used to the strategy - but not usually in the third quarter.

Drummond, though, is a unique case. He might be the worst free-throw shooter in league history - he entered the game shooting 27 percent from the line - and Detroit collapsed late against the Lakers with him on the bench.

(China Daily 12/03/2013 page23)

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