A game against the NBA-worst New Jersey Nets would seem to be the best remedy for a struggling team, but as poorly as the Detroit Pistons have been playing, that may not be the case.
Coming off one of their most embarrassing losses of the season, the Pistons will try to win their first game at The Palace of Auburn Hills in nearly three weeks Saturday night when they go for their seventh straight victory at home against the Nets.
Detroit (16-32), which likely will miss the playoffs this season for the first time since 2000-01, will try to bounce back from Friday's 107-83 defeat at Indiana. The Pistons were trying to build off Tuesday's 97-93 victory at New Jersey, but they shot 39.1 percent from the field against the Pacers and trailed by as many as 31 points in the fourth quarter.
"We're one day on, and one day off,' said Pistons coach John Kuester. "That's what it's been like. We've got to try and get some consistency.'
The Pistons have been consistently bad at home lately, averaging 86.0 points on 42.1 percent shooting while dropping five in a row. Detroit hasn't lost six straight on its home floor since an eight-game skid from Dec. 30, 2000-Feb. 2, 2001.
The Pistons, though, have won six in a row at home against New Jersey. In the teams' last meeting at The Palace, Detroit clinched its eighth consecutive playoff berth with a 100-93 victory April 10.
Will Bynum, who led the Pistons with 20 points off the bench in that game, has scored 10 in each of the last two contests after being sidelined 16 games with a sprained left ankle.
Since missing the Nets' last four games in January with a sprained right wrist, point guard Devin Harris is averaging 18.7 points and 10.0 assists, including 24 and a season-high 14 assists in Tuesday's loss to Detroit.
Harris had 17 points and eight assists on Friday when New Jersey (4-45) dropped its fifth straight, 96-87 at Boston. New Jersey shot 63.3 percent in the first half and led by one after three quarters but missed 15 of 20 shots in the final 12 minutes.
"I think we played 33 or 34 minutes of really good basketball,' Nets coach Kiki Vandeweghe said. "Lots of energy, high energy. We worked extremely hard.'
New Jersey has lost its last five games by an average of 5.6 points.
"Obviously, we want better than to stand toe-to-toe,' Harris said. "We want to come out on top."
The Nets will need Brook Lopez to continue playing at a high level if they hope to string together some victories. The second-year center, who had 27 points and seven rebounds Tuesday against the Pistons, is averaging 21.3 and 8.3, respectively, in his last four games in this matchup.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
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