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Clippers-Pistons Preview

Clippers-Pistons Preview
With Richard Hamilton and Rasheed Wallace out, Allen Iverson scored the winning points against the Los Angeles Clippers in January as Detroit continued its dominance in the series.

Now, it's uncertain who the Pistons would turn to first for any late-game heroics.

With all three stars potentially sitting out, the Pistons look to snap a three-game losing streak and extend a 12-game run against the Clippers on Friday night.

Iverson (back) will miss his 12th straight game and Wallace (calf) his sixth in a row for Detroit (33-34), trying to break out of a slump and hold on to seventh place in the Eastern Conference.

Hamilton, who was playing well in his return to the starting lineup after Iverson went down, has missed two straight games to rest his strained left groin and is listed as questionable. The veteran swingman has been bothered by the injury all season, missing 10 games.

"The more rest I get, the better," Hamilton said. "I never got the opportunity to rest, other than the All-Star break. I got a couple of days off and I was starting to feel pretty good, but then I had to play. That was that."

The injury kept Hamilton out of Detroit's 88-87 win over Los Angeles (17-51) on Jan. 4. The Pistons were also without Wallace due to a sore right foot, but Clippers forward Al Thornton was called for goaltending on Iverson's driving scoop shot with 4.9 seconds remaining for the game's decisive points.

It was the Pistons' 12th straight win the over Clippers since a 74-72 loss Nov. 3, 2002. Detroit has also won seven straight at home in the series since a 111-106 overtime defeat Feb. 19, 2001.

But Detroit has lost 12 of 17 at the Palace and five of seven overall.

"It's crazy how frustrating it is," Pistons guard Rodney Stuckey said. "I'm trying to be as aggressive as I can."

Stuckey had 21 points with 10 assists in the Pistons' 106-101 double-overtime loss to Houston on Wednesday night.

Arron Afflalo started for Hamilton and had 24 points. Antonio McDyess, who has moved to center in place of Wallace, had 14 points and 20 rebounds for the Pistons.

McDyess is averaging 15.5 points and 15.6 rebounds in his last six games. He'll be matched up with Clippers big man Chris Kaman, who has played five straight games after missing most of the season with a left foot injury.

Kaman is coming off his best game since returning, scoring 19 points in 21 minutes as Los Angeles beat Washington 123-108 on Wednesday night.

"I'm 15 pounds too heavy right now," Kaman said, "and I don't think I'm going to be back to where I was just because I'm out of shape and I get tired a lot easier. Rebounding is coming on, but my defense is still a little slow and I'm still a little behind on the plays."

The Clippers, though, were short-handed in the frontcourt yet again, with Marcus Camby sitting out due to a sore right hamstring. Camby, averaging 11.2 points and 12.0 rebounds, is listed as day-to-day.

Los Angeles has won two of three, but has lost six in a row on the road.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: March 19, 2009


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