Pistons comeback falls short in loss to 76ers

Associated Press • Oct 23, 2017 at 11:56 PM

DETROIT — It's becoming something of a pattern for the Pistons — fall into a double-digit deficit in the first half and make a furious comeback in the fourth quarter.

It happened on the road trip, in the loss at Washington and in the win over the Knicks.

Make it three times. And make it another loss.

The Pistons had a little déjà vu, erasing a 21-point deficit against the Philadelphia 76ers, but fell short in the final minutes, giving the Sixers their first win, 97-86, on Monday night at Little Caesars Arena.

Reggie Jackson had 16 points, seven assists and six rebounds, Andre Drummond 14 points and 14 rebounds and Avery Bradley 15 points for the Pistons (2-2), who played their third game in the last four nights.

The Sixers (1-3) got solid games from two of their stars, as Joel Embiid had 30 points and nine rebounds and rookie Ben Simmons a triple-double with 21 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists.

The Pistons opened the fourth quarter with four straight points, trimming the lead to 75-71, but rookie Markelle Fultz scored on a drive to push the lead back to six.

Anthony Tolliver, Saturday night's hero, hit a 3-pointer to get within three points, but JJ Redick scored on a back-door play to respond. The Pistons never got any closer.

The margin bulged to nine after a three-point play by Robert Covington and a 3-pointer by T.J. McConnell, to make it 87-78 at the 6:01 mark.

Covington hit another 3-pointer to push it to 87-80, but Jackson had three straight baskets to pull the Pistons within four with 3:12 left.

But the Sixers answered back, with two free throws each by Simmons and Embiid and a three-point play by Embiid with 1:14 left that put it away.

The Sixers got off to a hot start, with a 7-0 run, including two baskets by Embiid and a 3-pointer by Covington (10 points).

The Pistons answered with seven straight points, including a split in free throws by Drummond, who had his first miss from the line this season, after making his first six attempts. The Sixers answered with another 8-0 spurt, with three baskets by Simmons and a pair of free throws from Embiid.

In the second quarter, the Sixers pushed the lead to 15 following a 10-2 run, with seven points from Dario Saric and three from Redick. They continued the surge and went up, 51-30, on a jumper by Embiid and back-to-back 3-pointers from Jerryd Bayless at the 4:06 mark.

Just like they did against the Knicks, the Pistons chipped away, cutting it to a 56-43 margin and 75-67 entering the fourth quarter.

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