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News » Pistons-Thunder Preview

Pistons-Thunder Preview

Pistons-Thunder Preview
The Detroit Pistons have an eight-game winning streak over the Oklahoma City Thunder franchise, but the way they've been playing recently, that doesn't mean much.

The Pistons will try to avoid matching their longest losing streak in nearly four years on Friday when they visit the Thunder.

The Pistons (22-15) have lost three straight, but the last two losses have been particularly embarrassing. Detroit had a six-game winning streak over Charlotte end on Tuesday before falling 110-106 in overtime on Wednesday to Indiana, ending an eight-game run over the Pacers.

"We've got to finish games," said Rodney Stuckey, who scored a team-high 30 points Wednesday. "That's pretty much it. We're kicking ourselves in the butt. We keep losing games like this, it's going to hurt us at the end of the season. Hopefully, we can figure it out and get it turned around."

The Pistons, who haven't lost four straight since Jan. 18-24, 2005, have won eight in a row over the Thunder franchise, including a 90-88 win on Dec. 26. While that franchise has struggled in recent years - having not finished with a winning record since 2004-05 - Detroit has won the eight games by an average of only 4.8 points.

The Pistons' slide this week comes despite the returns of starters Richard Hamilton and Rasheed Wallace. Hamilton has been back the last two games after missing eight straight with a groin injury, and Wallace has been involved in all three losses after missing the previous four with a sore right foot. Hamilton had nine points on 4-of-13 shooting Wednesday while Wallace had 17 points and matched a season high with 15 rebounds.

Prior to the losing streak, Detroit had won eight of nine.

"The only feeling we should have right now that we can get it together," Pistons guard Allen Iverson told the Pistons' official Web site after adding 23 points and seven assists on Wednesday. "We have to figure it out. We can't come into the All-Star break still doing the negative things we're doing. We have to get it together."

Oklahoma City, meanwhile, is looking to win back-to-back games for the first time since relocating from Seattle for this season. The Thunder have won two of their last three and four of their league-low seven wins have come in the last eight games.

They shocked the Jazz on Wednesday, posting their second-highest point total of the season in a 114-93 rout of the Jazz on Wednesday. Jeff Green scored 23 points, Russell Westbrook added 22 and Kevin Durant chipped in 21 points and nine rebounds.

"We're definitely playing a little better," said Thunder center Nick Collison, who had 13 points and 11 rebounds. "There's a fine line in the NBA between winning and losing, and confidence is a big key. We're starting to get some."

Collison is averaging 13.4 points on 67.5 percent shooting his last five games, coinciding with Oklahoma City's recent offensive surge. In their last eight games the Thunder are averaging 104.9 points and shooting 47.9 percent - well above their season averages of 95.5 points and 44.6 percent..

The Thunder franchise has not beaten the Pistons since a 95-87 win in Seattle on March 4, 2005.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: January 15, 2009


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