Pistons’ Cladwell-Pope stings Hornets

ROCKET FUEL::James Harden registered his third triple-double of the season, with 32 points, 11 rebounds and 13 assists, as Houston claimed a 112-109 win against Toronto

Reuters

Sun, Mar 27, 2016 - Page 19

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 16 of his 21 points in the second half as the Detroit Pistons extended their winning streak to five games by holding off the Charlotte Hornets 112-105 on Friday night at the Palace of Auburn Hills.

Caldwell-Pope, who missed Detroit’s previous game with an illness, also contributed seven rebounds and four assists.

Marcus Morris scored 20 points — all but one in the first half — for the Pistons (39-34), who lead the Chicago Bulls by two games for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Andre Drummond posted his league-high 60th double-double with 18 points and 14 points as Detroit led from virtually start to finish.

Reggie Jackson chipped in 17 points, six rebounds and seven assists for the Pistons, who are 5-1 during their franchise-record nine-game homestand. Aron Baynes added 16 points and eight rebounds.

Kemba Walker’s 29 points led the Hornets (41-31), who entered the night trailing first-placed Atlanta by a half-game in the Southeast Division. It was Charlotte’s third loss in the past 14 games.

Caldwell-Pope’s three-pointer early in the third quarter made it 77-58 and another one in transition upped the lead to 86-63. He finished the quarter with 14 points as Detroit took a 98-76 lead into the fourth.

When Caldwell-Pope dunked with 9 minutes, 20 seconds left, the lead was up to 26 at 104-78. However, the Hornets made a frantic comeback and got the Pistons’ advantage down to 108-103 in the final minute after Jeremy Lamb’s three-pointer. Jackson and Baynes sealed the Detroit win with free throws.

Morris and Drummond combined for 33 points and 15 rebounds in the first half to power Detroit to a 72-56 halftime lead. The halftime point total was a Pistons season high and the first time they reached 70 by the break.

The Pistons reeled off 12 straight points after Hornets forward Marvin Williams’ three-point play that opened the scoring. They never looked back, leading by double digits most of the way.

The only thing that went right for the Hornets during the half was Walker’s outside shooting. He poured in 25 points, including a shot from beyond midcourt just before the second-quarter buzzer.

ROCKETS 112, RAPTORS 109

James Harden posted his third triple-double of the season as the Houston Rockets turned a fourth-quarter run into a 112-109 win over the Toronto Raptors at the Toyota Center.

Harden finished with 32 points, 11 rebounds and 13 assists, his sixth game with at least 10 assists in his past 11 starts.

TIMBERWOLVES 132, WIZARDS 129, OT

Karl-Anthony Towns registered 27 points and 10 rebounds, while Gorgui Dieng sank the game-winning jumper with 30 seconds left in the second overtime as the Minnesota Timberwolves hampered the Washington Wizards’ playoff hopes with a 132-129 victory at the Verizon Center.

Zach LaVine had 25 points for the Timberwolves (24-48), who trailed late in regulation and both overtime periods.

Down 129-124 with 1 minute, 55 seconds remaining, Minnesota scored the final eight points.

HAWKS 101, BUCKS 90

Jeff Teague scored eight straight points in one minute during the fourth quarter, as the cold-shooting Atlanta Hawks fight off the Milwaukee Bucks 101-90.

The Hawks connected on just five of 32 three-point attempts, but found a way to pick up their seventh win in the past eight games.

In other games, it was:

‧ Heat 108, Magic 97

‧ Spurs 110, Grizzlies 104

‧ Kings 116, Suns 94

‧ Nuggets 116, Lakers 105

‧ Warriors 128, Mavericks 120