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Drummond leads Pistons to 99-88 win over Nets

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NEW YORK (AP)

Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and the rest of the Brooklyn Nets are still trying to mesh on the court.

Especially on defense.

Garnett and former Boston Celtics teammate Pierce had their first Brooklyn home game spoiled Saturday night as Andre Drummond 15 scored points and first-round pick Kentavious Caldwell-Pope added 12 for the Detroit Pistons in a 99-88 victory on Saturday night.

For the second straight game, Brooklyn had some defensive lapses inside the paint and couldn't stop the lobs that Drummond was getting at the rim. The Nets gave up 32 points in the paint after allowing 46 against the Washington Wizards on Tuesday night.

''What everybody has to understand still is we are obviously still a work in progress,'' Garnett said. ''...Great game for us to learn from. We didn't pack the paint in as well as I think we can. We will get better.''

Kyle Singler had 11 points and rookie Tony Mitchell had 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Pistons.

Most of the upper bowl seats were filled, while there were plenty of empty seats in the lower level empty as 16,331 attended the game, giving Garnett and Pierce a nice ovation when the starters were introduced.

All that did was motivate Drummond and the Pistons.

''We punched them in the mouth first. We didn't let them jump on us first,'' Drummond said. ''We did our best to get after them first, try to run the floor on them, try to make them run after us.''

New Pistons coach Maurice Cheeks was impressed with the way his center was active on the court, pointing out his work first-time coach Rasheed Wallace, who retired last season.

''Andre Drummond, in the third quarter, was running on the floor and getting those lobs,'' Cheeks said. ''He had one or two post moves, but it wasn't something we ran for him. . Just the way he plays is amazing to watch. I think Rasheed Wallace has been doing a good job working with him.''

Andray Blatche led the Nets with 15 points.

Nets point guard Deron Williams participated in pregame shooting drills but did not play in the team's second preseason game. He watched from the bench because of a right ankle he sprained during offseason workouts. It's the same injury that hampered him last season.

After committing 24 turnovers in their preseason opener, Brooklyn had 21 against the Pistons.

Nets backup point guard Tyshawn Taylor left the arena in a walking boot after he sprained his right foot, leaving Brooklyn with one healthy player at the point, the inexperienced Jorge Gutierrez, to backup Shaun Livingston while Williams heals up.

''I mean he's going to be the engine that's going to drive this team at both ends of the court before we could really see how we're going to reach our full potential,'' Pierce said of Williams. ''So you know, it's up to us with the guys that we have out there to continue to get better, to continue to understand what we're trying to accomplish each and every night.''

Livingston started in Williams' place, finishing with two points and seven assists. Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez played into the third quarter, while Garnett and Pierce sat out the second half.

Tagged: Pistons, Nets, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Rasheed Wallace, Deron Williams, Brook Lopez

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