Andre Drummond leads Detroit Pistons in season opener, 119-110, at Indiana Pacers
By MICHAEL MAROT
AP Sports Writer
INDIANAPOLIS — Andre Drummond softened up the perimeter by hammering away in the middle. Luke Kennard finally took advantage late.
It was quite an opening-night combination for the Detroit Pistons. Drummond scored 32 points, grabbed 23 rebounds and blocked four shots while Kennard made half of his career-high six 3-pointers in the final six minutes to help the Pistons pull away for a 119-110 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night.
“I’m glad he (Drummond) is on my team,” Derrick Rose said after his Pistons debut. “It just feels good to win, especially the first game.”
The Pacers had billed their opener as the debut of a new era complete with four new starters and a retro lineup with 6-foot-11 Myles Turner and 6-11 Domantas Sabonis playing with each other.
But Drummond and Kennard ruined the night.
The league’s three-time rebounding champ was a wrecking ball right from the start, knocking down 12 of 18 shots and even making his last eight free throws after missing the first two. Kennard warmed up late, scoring 16 of his career-high 30 points in the final 11 minutes.
Indiana never recovered. Sabonis had 27 points and 13 rebounds and Malcolm Brogdon added 22 points in his first game with the Pacers.
“I love the way we fought,” Kennard said. “That was great to come into an atmosphere like this, opening night, for a team on the road it’s not always easy to come away with a win.”