NBA Basketball

118
Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
Detroit 29 29 29 31 118
Phoenix 32 28 20 18 98
98
7:00 PM PT8:00 PM MT9:00 PM CT10:00 PM ET2:00 GMT10:00 7:00 PM MST9:00 PM EST6:00 UAE (+1)03:0022:00 ET8:00 PM CT1:00 , March 21, 2019
Talking Stick Resort Arena, Phoenix, Arizona  Attendance: 16,066

Pistons continue tough road trip with lowly Suns

According to STATS
According to STATS

Detroit Pistons at Phoenix Suns

  1. The Pistons lost their most recent game, falling 126-119 to the Cavaliers on Monday, but have gone 15-6 (.714) since January 31. They trail only the Bucks (17-6) and Rockets (16-6) for the best record in the NBA in that time.
  2. Andre Drummond had 21 points and 21 rebounds in the loss to Cleveland, his 12th 20/20 game this season, most since Kevin Willis had 12 for the Hawks in 1991-92. All other Eastern Conference players have had 12 such games combined this season.
  3. Detroit has increased its three-point percentage from .338 pre-break to .392 post-break, the second-largest increase in the NBA (Tor). Langston Galloway has shot 54.7 percent from three since the break, the best percentage in the NBA (min. 25 attempts).
  4. The Suns have lost three of four after falling to the Bulls on Monday at home, 116-101. Phoenix did force 12 turnovers in the loss, its 68th consecutive game inducing double-digit turnovers, tied for the franchise's longest streak in the last 25 seasons (68 games, 5/5/1999-3/22/2000).
  5. Phoenix has six players with at least 50 steals this season, trailing only Boston and Indiana (seven each) for most in the NBA. Rookie Mikal Bridges has 116 steals, 36 more than any other rookie (Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, 80).
  6. Deandre Ayton is averaging 3.2 offensive rebounds, the most in a single season by a rookie since Blake Griffin averaged 3.3 in 2010-11 (min. 60 games).

The Detroit Pistons followed up one of their best wins of the season with one of their worst losses. Another defeat could lead to a disastrous road trip.

Detroit began a string of five straight road games with a 126-119 loss to rebuilding Cleveland on Monday. The Pistons defeated Toronto, the team with the second-best record in the Eastern Conference, 110-107 the previous day.

They now embark on a West Coast swing, beginning with Phoenix on Thursday. The remainder of the trip will include stops in Portland, Golden State and Denver, where they'll face three of the top Western Conference clubs.

"A journey to the playoffs isn't easy. There's pressure," Pistons coach Dwane Casey said. "There's physical pressure. There's mental pressure and we've got to fight through it all as a team. When you let up, no matter what the other organization's goals are, how they've been playing, what their record is. ... Anybody getting paid twice a month can step up and beat you and I don't think we came out with a healthy enough amount of respect for (the Cavaliers) that we needed."

Detroit's defense was porous in Cleveland, as the home team shot 58.2 percent from the field. The Pistons rested their top player, All-Star power forward Blake Griffin, but it shouldn't have mattered. Cleveland played without its star, Kevin Love.

"We've got to be better early on," said guard Wayne Ellington, who scored a season-high 25 points. "They didn't feel us physically. They played really free and that came back to bite us at the end of the game. They had a whole lot of confidence. Guys got it going and made some great shots."

It's questionable whether Suns forward Kelly Oubre Jr. will play. He missed a 116-101 loss to Chicago on Monday with a left thumb sprain. Oubre has averaged 16.9 points and 4.9 rebounds in 40 games since he was acquired from Washington earlier this season.

"It's tough," guard Devin Booker told the team's website of playing without Oubre. "You know, he's that energy point for us and he's a threat on the court that any team would miss if you don't have him. So, that's a big part of our team, but his health is more of a concern for me. So, let's make sure he gets to one hundred percent before he gets back out there because we're going to need him in the long run."

Oubre scored a career-best 32 points in a overtime victory at New Orleans on Saturday.

Booker had 25 points against Chicago, his 13th consecutive 20-point performance. Rookie center Deandre Ayton notched his 36th double-double with 25 points and 12 rebounds.

Chicago shot 51.7 percent and the Suns trailed virtually from start to finish.

"We were getting the looks we wanted, we were just missing them," Booker said. "Especially early on. I don't really know how to express that, just missing them. Nights like that, we try to do it in other ways, speed up the game and get more aggressive and we fell up short."

Phoenix has lost three of its last four outings since it upset Golden State on the road.

In the first meeting with Detroit this season on Nov. 25, Booker scored 37 points but the Pistons collected a 118-107 victory. Drummond led the Pistons with 19 points, 16 rebounds and five steals.

--Field Level Media

Updated March 20, 2019

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