DETROIT (AP) – Seth Curry scored 23 points, Tyrese Maxey added 20 and the shorthanded Philadelphia 76ers beat the Detroit Pistons 109-98 Thursday night for their fifth straight victory.
Joel Embiid had 19 points and nine rebounds for Philadelphia. Shake Milton scored 16 points and Georges Niang added 14 on the bench.
“This group is very close, they have no distractions and they are playing hard,” Sixers coach Doc Rivers said.
The Sixers, playing for the second night in a row, used just eight players. Furkan Korkmaz (wrist) has been absent, while former Pistons forward Tobias Harris has been sidelined due to COVID-19 protocols.
They were unable to have a guided tour Thursday morning after Isaiah Joe’s entry into COVID-19 protocols required the entire team to be tested.
“We have some serious guys who are just here to win basketball games,” Niang said. “We got here in the second half of a straight game after a tough win over Chicago over all morning and got a win. It’s a lot of teamwork. “
Jerami Grant scored 27 for the Pistons, but just five in the second half.
“In the first half we executed our attack and the ball got to Jerami for some good shots,” said Pistons coach Dwane Casey. “In the second half, everyone came out and waited for Jerami to do his thing. You can’t play like that and hope to win.
Cade Cunningham had 18 points and 11 rebounds, but missed 13 of his 17 field goal attempts. Cunningham, the No. 1 overall pick this summer, is shooting 17.9% (7 for 39) in his first three games, including 1 for 21 on 3 points.
“I feel a lot more comfortable with the ball, but obviously I was not effective at shooting in my first three games,” said Cunningham, who missed the preseason and the start of the season. regular with a sprained ankle. “I haven’t had a training camp, but the guys are supporting me and they keep giving me the ball.”
Detroit got 22 points from Grant en route to a 66-63 halftime lead. Curry had 18.
Cunningham beat the center court logo shot clock with 7:20 left in the third, his first mark after missing his first 18 career 3-point attempts.
“We tell him to keep shooting the ball,” Pistons center Isaiah Stewart said. “The shots he’s missing right now are shots we’ve seen him do a lot. These will turn into points very soon.
Maxey, who was playing on his 21st birthday, had nine points in the third quarter as the 76ers took an 86-82 lead.
“I wasn’t ready to do this when I was 21, for sure,” Curry said. “But once you get out, everyone’s the same age.”
The Pistons shot 27.3% (6 for 22) from the ground during the period.
“The Sixers are a playoff team and we knew they were going to turn up the pressure in the second half,” said Casey. “We haven’t matched them. This is what hurt us.
Philadelphia led 97-82 with 8:13 remaining, but Cunningham had four free throws as the Pistons reduced the deficit to 97-89.
Embiid finished the run with a short jumper, and the Sixers turned two turnovers into easy baskets to bring the score to 103-89 with 5:46 left.
Sixers: C Andre Drummond, who played his first 591 NBA games with the Pistons, was booed every time he touched the ball. … Embiid’s three rebounds in the first half gave him 3,000 in his NBA career.
Pistons: Olynyk stole the ball from Drummond and hit a 27-footer at the buzzer to give Detroit a 32-31 lead at the end of the first quarter. … PG Killian Hayes left the game with a left thumb injury, but came back for the final 6:29.
Sixers: Visit the Chicago Bulls on Saturday.
Pistons: Host the Brooklyn Nets on Friday.