NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, March 22nd (All times Eastern)
Detroit Pistons (25-43) at Los Angeles Clippers (48-21), 10:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Los Angeles Clippers had an 11-game win streak snapped last time out, but they've had plenty of time to prepare for a new one and will get a chance Saturday night when they host the Detroit Pistons.
On Monday, the Clippers fell to the Denver Nuggets, 110-100, at the Pepsi Center to stop the franchise's second-longest winning streak.
Chris Paul led Los Angeles with 29 points, while Blake Griffin needed 25 shots to produce 26 points in the Clippers' first loss in nearly a month.
"I think we realize that doesn't matter," Paul said of the win streak ending. "A team like ours and other teams obviously try to do well and get your seeding right in the regular season but we had a 17-game win streak last year and got knocked out of the playoffs."
During this hiatus since the Denver loss, the Clippers have received some good news on the health front. Guards J.J. Redick, Jamal Crawford and Darren Collison all practiced in some form on Thursday.
Redick has been out since Feb. 3 due to a bulging disc in his lower back, while Crawford has missed eight of the last nine games with a calf injury. Collison sat two games with a stomach virus. Crawford and Collison could be back Saturday, while Redick is still expected to be sidelined.
Head coach Doc Rivers planned to implement some new things to the playbook, but didn't due to the returning faces.
"There's just too many guys coming back now," Rivers told the team's website. "It's just too many guys are coming back and we've got to get back into just playing basketball. I think it would be really silly to try and add something new when the guys that are coming back probably don't remember what we were doing before."
The Clippers host the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday, then hit the road for five straight.
Detroit continued its struggles with Friday's 98-92 loss against the Phoenix Suns and has dropped four straight. Rodney Stuckey scored 23 points off the bench, Greg Monroe netted 16 points and Josh Smith posted 15.
Andre Drummond returned to the floor after missing the last game with a head/neck issue and recorded 16 points to go with eight rebounds and five assists. The Pistons, who turned the ball over 19 times, are 3-14 in the last 17 games and have lost 12 straight on the road.
"We turned the ball over 19 times for a team that averages 12, and then you go 10-for-26 from the line," said Pistons interim head coach John Loyer. "I mean, we're not asking to make all of them, but if you shoot your percentage, which is about 66 percent, that's a totally different ballgame."
The last time the Pistons suffered 13 straight road losses was during a 19- game famine back in 1980-81.
Detroit is only 5-22 against the West and 1-11 on the road against the conference. It is 10-22 outside The Palace this season and will close the road trip Monday against the Utah Jazz.
The Pistons will have a tough time against Griffin, Paul and the Clippers, but could make it tough on L.A.'s inside game with Monroe and Drummond.
The Clippers beat the Pistons at The Palace on Jan. 20 and have taken five straight in this series. L.A. is 3-1 in its last four as the host against the Pistons.
03/22 10:27:17 ET