NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, March 1st (All times Eastern)
Detroit Pistons (23-37) at New Orleans Hornets (20-39), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The New Orleans Hornets will try to snap a two-game slide on Friday night when they welcome the Detroit Pistons to New Orleans Arena.
The Hornets fell at home to the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday, then got creamed by the reigning Western Conference champion Oklahoma City Thunder in OKC on Wednesday. New Orleans dropped that squeaker, 119-74, for its worst loss ever to the Thunder franchise.
"We just have to flush this away and move forward," said rookie guard Austin Rivers. "We still have a lot of games left. We've got so much to improve on. This is where they were at four or five years ago and we got that in the back of our minds. We got to keep competing."
Severely under-manned without first overall pick Anthony Davis (left shoulder), Eric Gordon (knee precaution) and Jason Smith, Ryan Anderson was the only Hornets player in double figures with 14.
The Hornets allowed the Thunder to shoot 55 percent from the field and 44 percent from long range.
Friday's tilt with the Pistons starts a three-game homestand brimming with optimism. All three games (Pistons, Orlando Magic and Los Angeles Lakers) have losing records.
The Pistons halted a three-game losing streak on Wednesday with a wild win in Washington against the Wizards. Detroit prevailed, 96-95, but nearly squandered a nine-point lead with a minute to go. Thanks to a missed 3-pointer by Washington's Trevor Ariza as time expired, the Pistons earned their third road win in their last four.
Brandon Knight returned from a three-game absence with a knee injury to score a career-high 32. Greg Monroe, a New Orleans native, notched his 27th double- double with 26 points and 11 rebounds and Jose Calderon handed out 18 assists.
One of the big reasons the Pistons emerged successful from our nation's capital was head coach Lawrence Frank's decision to play three point guards - Knight, Calderon and Will Bynum - on the floor together during the third quarter, a period the Pistons won by 18 points.
"In the flow of the game, you're just constantly adjusting and seeing what works and what doesn't," Frank said. "I wanted to see what the three of them could do. We were able to get into the paint, so we wanted to take advantage of it, plus in terms of wanting to maximize those guys minutes because Brandon and Jose were playing great. And I wanted to see with Will, if we stretched him out a little bit longer, if we could get him back in rhythm."
Bynum missed Monday's home loss to the Atlanta Hawks due to a suspension stemming from an incident against the Indiana Pacers on Saturday.
The Pistons finish off a three-game road trip on Monday with a game in San Antonio against the Spurs.
The Hornets won this season's only matchup with the Pistons, a 105-86 drubbing on Feb. 11 in Detroit. These two teams have split the last 22 meetings, although the Pistons haven't won in New Orleans since Dec. 5, 2007, losing the last three trips there.
03/01 10:28:54 ET