NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, December 10th (All times eastern)
Detroit Pistons (7-16) at Minnesota Timberwolves (5-17), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - A pair of teams aiming to halt identical two-game losing streaks get together tonight in the Twin Cities, where the Minnesota Timberwolves will play host to the Detroit Pistons at Target Center.
The Timberwolves suffered a 111-103 loss at home to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday, as Kevin Love's 22 points and 21 rebounds weren't enough to keep his team from losing for the eighth time in nine tries.
"They were just making sure I didn't get any rebounds," Love said. "They were face guarding me and blocking me out and I just tried to do my job. On the offensive end, I tried to draw contact. A lot of calls could have gone our way but they didn't. We just have to keep working through that though. Tonight was just one of those games."
Love has recorded 15 boards or more in eight straight games, the longest such streak since Ben Wallace ran off 14 in a row for Detroit in 2003. Michael Beasley notched 26 points and six rebounds, while Nikola Pekovic chipped in 15 points in defeat. Minnesota center Darko Milicic did not play because of a bruised right quadriceps and he's questionable for Friday.
After Friday's game in Minneapolis, the Wolves will embark on a six-game trek against the Bulls, Warriors, Suns, Blazers, Nuggets and Clippers. They have dropped six in a row away from Target Center.
Meanwhile, the Pistons will try to put the brakes on a seven-game road losing streak when they wrap up a three-game trek in Minnesota tonight.
Detroit has lost two straight and six of seven games overall, including a 93-74 defeat on Wednesday at the hands of the New Orleans Hornets in the second-lowest scoring output this season. Ben Gordon came off the bench to score a team-high 19 points and Rodney Stuckey netted 16 for the Pistons, who fell to a dismal 2-11 away from The Palace this season.
"We have to be more focused on defending," said Pistons forward Jason Maxiell, who ended with 10 points and six rebounds. "They got their run. We dug ourselves a hole."
Richard Hamilton, the sixth leading scorer in franchise history, had 13 points in a losing effort. Pistons top reserve Charlie Villanueva has been battling injuries lately and finished with only two points in just over 10 minutes of action. He is the main reason why Detroit's bench is averaging 38.9 points per game -- good enough for fourth in the NBA this season.
The Pistons will begin a four-game homestand versus the Raptors, Hawks, Clippers and Hornets following tonight's tilt with the Wolves.
Detroit won both meetings with Minnesota a year ago and is unbeaten in the past three matchups between the teams. It will put a five-game winning streak in the Twin Cities to the test tonight.
12/10 10:59:20 ET