News » Clippers-Pistons Preview 2009-11-27

Clippers-Pistons Preview 2009-11-27

Clippers-Pistons Preview 2009-11-27The Detroit Pistons haven't had much luck keeping their best players healthy and their schedule over the past two weeks didn't do them any favors either.

As they try to snap their six-game slide, the Pistons hope to change their fortunes by earning their 14th straight win over the visiting Los Angeles Clippers on Friday night.

During its losing streak, Detroit has faced five teams that have won at least 11 games. The one that didn't, Utah, needed overtime to beat the Pistons (5-10) on Saturday night.

They have also faced four division-leading clubs, including two in the past two games. Detroit shot 39.2 percent in its 98-88 defeat Wednesday night in Cleveland, but suffered a bigger loss in the first half when leading scorer Ben Gordon exited with a sprained left ankle.

The severity of the injury is unknown for Gordon, who has scored 19.8 points per game after signing a five-year deal worth $55 million in July.

Detroit is already missing its two leading scorers from last season, Richard Hamilton (right ankle) and Tayshaun Prince (back), who have played a combined four games this season.

"It's tough. Man, it seems like injuries have been a factor all season," forward Charlie Villanueva said. "We can't get a break. Hopefully, it's not that bad of a sprain. Hopefully, he can recover quick, but I don't know how serious the injury is."

Gordon had averaged 19.3 points in his last three meetings with the Clippers, but was held to 11 on 4 of 12 shooting in a Jan. 28 win for Chicago at Staples Center.

If Gordon is out, the Pistons could move Will Bynum into the starting lineup. Rookies Austin Daye, Jonas Jerebko and DaJuan Summers could also see more playing time.

"This is when Jonas, DaJuan and Austin find out this isn't the summer league," coach John Kuester said.

Bynum has averaged 13.5 points but scored four during a 1-for-13 performance against the Cavaliers. Rodney Stuckey broke his shooting slump to score a team-best 25 points Friday. He connected on 30.3 percent of his shots during a four-game Western road trip but was 8 of 16 against Cleveland.

The Pistons have had plenty of strong performances during their winning streak against the Clippers, which dates back to Feb. 5, 2003. The 13-game run is tied for the NBA's longest active win streak by one team over another.

Dallas has also won 13 in a row over Minnesota and San Antonio has beaten New Jersey 13 straight times.

Los Angeles (6-10) enters Friday's game trying to avoid a fourth straight road loss and comes off its worst offensive performance of the season.

After back-to-back victories, the Clippers shot 32.2 percent in Wednesday night's 86-73 loss in Indiana. Leading scorer Chris Kaman (19.8 ppg) scored 10 on 3 of 19 shooting, and forward Al Thornton was 2 of 15 during a five-point night.

Baron Davis, however, matched a season high with 25 points.

"It was an awful loss," coach Mike Dunleavy said. "We can't get this one back, so we have to move on."

The Clippers, 2-5 on the road this season, have also dropped eight straight in Detroit and earned their previous victory there in overtime on Feb. 19, 2001, their only win in 16 visits since 1992-93.

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Added: November 27, 2009


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