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NBA Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, March 21st (All times Eastern)

Detroit Pistons (25-42) at Phoenix Suns (39-29), 8:30 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Phoenix Suns are still fighting for a playoff spot in the competitive Western Conference and will try to move closer to that goal when they host the Detroit Pistons Friday night.

The Suns are 1 1/2 games off the seventh and eighth spots in the conference standings and have won three of their last four games, including Wednesday's 109-93 victory over the Orlando Magic.

Goran Dragic and Gerald Green scored 18 and 14 points, respectively, for the Suns, who made 51 percent from the field and scored 24 points off 20 turnovers.

Green made 4-of-6 3-pointers and Phoenix ended 11-of-25 from downtown.

"I just had to stay with it," said Green. "I knew I was going to get shots up and I knew that I was going to be able to get open and try to make plays."

Channing Frye and Markieff Morris scored 12 points apiece in the win.

The Suns are 16-10 against the East this season and 23-13 at home. They will start a three-game road trip Sunday against Minnesota, Atlanta and Washington.

Detroit is only 5-21 against the West and 1-10 on the road against the conference. It will resume a four-game western swing Friday and opened the journey with Wednesday's 118-109 setback in Denver.

Greg Monroe scored 22 points, Rodney Stuckey added 18 and Josh Smith was ejected after picking up two technical fouls in the third quarter. Smith had eight points and seven rebounds before leaving.

"We just lost a player so other guys have to step up. That's part of being professional," said Stuckey. "Things happen throughout the course of a game. It's our job as teammates to have his back."

Andre Drummond, who is averaging 13.1 points and 12.8 rebounds, did not play because of a head/neck issue and is questionable Friday for the Pistons, who have lost 11 in a row on the road and are 10-21 outside The Palace this season. The Pistons are 3-13 in their last 16 overall.

Detroit defeated Phoenix 110-108 at The Palace on Jan. 11 behind 25 points from Smith and 20 by Monroe. Drummond posted 13 points and 13 boards in that one for the Pistons, losers in five consecutive games in the desert.

03/21 10:26:48 ET

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