The Detroit Pistons snapped a three-game skid the last time they took the court, but they'll have a tough time building on that momentum with the league's top two teams next on their schedule. The Pistons host the Western Conference-best Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday before traveling to NBA-best Indiana on Monday. The Pistons can only hope the Trail Blazers cooled off between Philadelphia and Detroit after hitting a franchise-record 21 3-pointers in a 139-105 win over the 76ers on Saturday.
The Pistons snapped a three-game skid with a 103-99 home win over Brooklyn on Friday, squandering most of a 21-point lead before hanging on. "We've got to just quit playing not to lose the game," Detroit guard Chauncey Billups told reporters. "If you do and you get hesitant and you get passive and the other team gets aggressive, that's what happens." The Trail Blazers had no such trouble in Philadelphia, outscoring the 76ers 68-41 in the second half en route to their third straight win.
TV: 6 p.m. ET, CSN Northwest (Portland), FSN Detroit
ABOUT THE TRAIL BLAZERS (20-4): Portland is the highest-scoring team in the league at 107.8 points per game with LaMarcus Aldridge (23.5 points, 10.6 rebounds) and Damian Lillard (20.1 points, 5.6 assists) leading the way, and Saturday's 139 points marked the highest output in the NBA this season. "Everyone is taking shots with confidence," reserve forward Dorell Wright told reporters. "It doesn't surprise me when guys are making shots like that, because we have a lot of great shooters." While the Blazers have only four players who average double-digit scoring, they showed off their depth against Philadelphia with eight in double figures.
ABOUT THE PISTONS (11-13): Detroit has the potential to dominate in the post with twin towers Greg Monroe (15 points, 8.8 rebounds) and Andre Drummond (13.5 points, 12.7 rebounds) - and the Pistons do lead the league with 51.2 points in the paint per game. Josh Smith, the big offseason signing who was expected to vault the Pistons into the top tier in the Eastern Conference, has been a bit of a disappointment, averaging 13.8 points and 6.6 rebounds. Another offseason addition has paid dividends, though, with point guard Brandon Jennings averaging a team-high 17.1 points and a career-best 7.6 assists.
1. Detroit is 1-8 against Western Conference opponents, including a 109-103 loss at Portland on Nov. 11.
2. Aldridge has six double-doubles in the last seven games, averaging 25.7 points and 14 rebounds over that stretch.
3. The Trail Blazers are 10-2 on the road, tied with San Antonio for the best mark in the league.
PREDICTION: Trail Blazers 107, Pistons 99