By Branden Hunter
DETROIT – The Detroit Pistons blew a 12-point halftime lead, losing 117-111 to the Philadelphia 76ers (18-9), who were without star center Joel Embiid who did not play due to rest.
Detroit (13-10) went 7-38 from the three-point line, going 1-13 in the second half, and missing their last 12. It is their third straight loss, with a back-to-back Sunday at home against the Pelicans and Monday at Philadelphia.
Blake Griffin led the way with 31 points, 12 rebounds and six assists and Andre Drummond had 21 points and 10 rebounds. But the Pistons were limited off the bench, with Stanley Johnson out because of a sore left knee, Reggie Bullock suffering a sprained left ankle, and Ish Smith also on the injured list with a right adductor strain.
Philly trailed at halftime and the Pistons had their largest lead after Glenn Robinson III opened the third quarter with a 3-pointer. The Sixers answered with a 22-5 run to move ahead and never looked back.
Jimmy Butler led all scorers with 38 points on 13-27 shooting, six rebounds, and six assists. Ben Simmons added 18 points, 13 rebounds, and six assists. The unsung hero for the Sixers was Mike Muscala, who had 18 points and three key blocks.
The Sixers had another big run in the fourth, erasing a 100-95 Pistons lead with 13 straight points. The Pistons never recovered and could only close to within six in the final minutes.
The game did get chippy in the final quarter, with Dwane Casey and Blake Griffin both receiving technical fouls. Detroit shot 37 free throws in the game, with 24 coming from Griffin.
This article originally appeared in the Michigan Chronicle.