NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, November 8th (All times Eastern)
Oklahoma City Thunder (3-1) at Detroit Pistons (2-2), 7:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Oklahoma City Thunder shoot for a third straight win Friday when they visit the Detroit Pistons at The Palace of Auburn Hills.
The Thunder have won two in a row since getting star guard Russell Westbrook back from offseason knee surgery and recorded a 107-93 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday. Kevin Durant had 23 points and 10 assists, while Westbrook posted 22 points.
Serge Ibaka had his first double-double of the season with 17 points and 13 rebounds for the Thunder, who shot a sizzling 54.4 percent for the game and had 23 points off 21 Dallas turnovers. OKC had a 17-point lead at one point and the Mavs never got closer than eight points.
"We did a lot of things we were hoping to accomplish tonight, make some shots was one," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said after his team improved to 3-1. "And I thought the defense was good throughout the game against a very good offensive team."
The Thunder outscored Dallas 54-42 in the paint and 27-15 in fast-break points. They also handed out a season-best 28 assists.
Detroit will wrap up a three-game homestand (1-1) Friday and looks to rebound from Tuesday's 99-91 loss to the unbeaten Indiana Pacers.
Brandon Jennings, in his second game with the Pistons, led the team with 17 points and six assists. Josh Smith added 16 points and seven rebounds and Greg Monroe scored 14 and grabbed 10 boards for Detroit, which trailed 29-14 after 12 minutes and was outscored 17-5 to start the third quarter.
The Pistons cut the deficit to four (76-72) with 9:19 remaining, but Indiana responded with a 18-3 run to go up by a game-high 19 points (94-75).
"I wouldn't say (I'm) pleased. You're never pleased if you lose the game, number one, and number two, I thought they were aggressive," said Pistons coach Maurice Cheeks. "They got to the penalty. We didn't get to the penalty. I think those are huge differences in the game. They make shots to get to the penalty and make a few foul shots here and there. It paid dividends for them."
Andre Drummond recorded his 500th career rebound and 100th career block in a losing effort. Drummond, who had six points and nine boards, is part of an interior squad that leads the NBA in points in the paint (53.0 ppg).
After Friday's game versus the Thunder, the Pistons will travel west for a four-game trek against Portland, Golden State, Sacramento and the Los Angeles Lakers.
Detroit lost both meetings with Oklahoma City last season and is winless in the past eight matchups between the clubs. The Thunder have won their last three games at The Palace, but are just 4-10 there in the past 14.
11/08 10:36:22 ET