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NBA Preview from The Sports Network



Sunday, November 17th (All times Eastern)

Detroit Pistons (3-5) at Los Angeles Lakers (4-7), 9:30 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Los Angeles Lakers will try to improve on some recent poor performances Sunday night when they welcome the Detroit Pistons to the Staples Center.

The Lakers have dropped two straight and four of their last five, including an 89-86 setback at home to the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday night. Los Angeles blew a three-point lead to start the fourth quarter and had no answer for Memphis big man Zach Randolph.

"We just didn't make the plays to win the game like a corner three or someone came up behind you in the fast break," said Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni. "We didn't make our foul shots and they made all of them. Just little things that separate the two teams and Zach went off and made some difficult shots."

Jodie Meeks led the way for the Lakers with 25 points. Nick Young scored 18 off the bench and Jordan Hill scored 12 points. Pau Gasol had a double-double with 10 points and 13 rebounds, while Steve Blake handed out 10 assists in the losing effort.

It's a simple equation for the Lakers. In their seven losses, L.A. has cracked the 100-point mark just once. In their four victories, they've gone over the century number three times and in the fourth win, they scored 99 points.

The Lakers continue their homestand against the Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings before they head east.

The Pistons earned their first road win of the season on Friday with a 97-90 victory over the Sacramento Kings.

Josh Smith was exceptional on Friday, leading the Pistons with 21 points, eight rebounds, seven assists, five steals and four blocks.

"This is the way Josh (Smith) plays. He scores, he rebounds -- I think he had four blocks. He does a little bit of everything and this is the way we need Josh to play. He was spectacular tonight," said Pistons head coach Maurice Cheeks.

Andre Drummond was excellent as well with 15 points and 18 rebounds. Rodney Stuckey scored 16 off the bench and Kyle Singler chipped in 11 for the second unit. Brandon Jennings had 11 points and nine assists versus only one turnover.

Rookie Kentavious Caldwell-Pope earned his first start in place of Chauncey Billups, who is battling knee tendinitis. He scored seven points on 2-for-5 shooting.

Billups is questionable against the Lakers.

Sunday's tilt with the Lakers will end a four-game western trip for the Pistons.

The Lakers won both contests last season and have taken three in a row over the Pistons in L.A.

11/17 10:37:23 ET