Pistons-Grizzlies Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated November 29, 2012
The Detroit Pistons have played well over the last two weeks. Whether they've improved enough to beat the team with the NBA's best record remains to be seen. Hoping to turn things around on the road, the Pistons try for a third consecutive victory Friday night while looking to avoid a sixth straight defeat to the Memphis Grizzlies. Coming off a fourth straight losing season, Detroit (5-11) promptly started 0-8, but has since won five of eight and two in a row for the first time. Brandon Knight and Charlie Villanueva each had 19 points Wednesday and Rodney Stuckey added 18 as the Pistons went 12 of 16 from 3-point range in a 117-77 rout of Phoenix. It was the club's most lopsided victory since beating Milwaukee 114-69 on Dec. 31, 2007. "A lot of good play from a lot of good guys," coach Lawrence Frank said. "You don't have a lot of games like this, but obviously a lot of bright spots that we've got to keep on building on." Frank's team is averaging 99.1 points on 48.2 percent shooting in the last eight games after putting up 91.3 and shooting 41.9 percent in the first eight, with six of those on the road. Detroit allowed 101.5 points per game during the 0-8 start, but has yielded 93.5 since. The Pistons have won four straight at home, but they are still 1-8 and looking to avoid a third consecutive defeat on the road. "We've started to put together better play at home, now we have to take the show on the road against two of the better teams," Frank said of the brief trip to Memphis (11-2) and Dallas. "One that's arguably the best team in the Western Conference." The Pistons certainly face a daunting task against a Memphis club that has allowed 89.4 points per game while posting a 7-1 home mark. Detroit has averaged 88.0 points while losing its last five overall to the Grizzlies by an average margin of 13.8. Memphis flexed its defensive muscle Wednesday night when it forced 11 turnovers and held Toronto to 30.6 percent shooting in the second half of a 103-82 victory. Set to conclude a five-game homestand, the Grizzlies have won three in a row since a 97-92 loss to Denver on Nov. 19. "Everybody is playing well," forward Rudy Gay told the Grizzlies' official website. "We have great continuity. The starters have really challenged the team and we are playing great together." Marreese Speights had 18 points with 12 rebounds off the bench Wednesday while Zach Randolph added 17 points and 13 boards for Memphis, which has won 18 of 19 regular-season home games. A knee injury forced Randolph to miss both meetings with Detroit last season, but the former Michigan State star has averaged 26.3 points and 14.7 boards in his last three games against the Pistons. Knight is averaging 22.0 points on 53.7 percent shooting - including 9 of 14 from 3-point range - in Detroit's last three contests overall. He averaged 18.5 points versus Memphis last season but went 11 of 34 (32.4 percent) from the field and 1 of 6 from beyond the arc.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

JJ Watt offers to help pay Rockets owner’s fine

WATCH: Birthday boy Aaron Judge homers and makes spectacular catch at Fenway

Predators rookie Kevin Fiala carted off and hospitalized after gruesome collision

Warriors invite members of ‘We Believe’ team to playoff game

Report: Emails suggest no foul play in Eli Manning memorabilia case

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Adrian Beltre not close to return to Rangers

Rockets owner Leslie Alexander fined $100,000 for confronting official

Pirates call up Gift Ngoepe, first MLB player from African continent

Genie Bouchard: Maria Sharapova is ‘cheater,’ should be banned for life

Browns’ Joe Thomas: ‘I’m already seeing memory loss’

Westbrook hasn’t ‘even thought about’ contract extension

Marshawn Lynch gives an already-spurned city hometown appeal

The 'Bonehead blunder that watered down the 1931 AL home run crown' quiz

Draft prospects we're most excited to see in the NFL

Stanley Cup Playoffs: The West is full of surprises

Box Score 4/26: NFL Draft eve

Everything you need for the 2017 NFL Draft

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The 'QB or not QB? That is the question' quiz

How the Astros are following the Cubs' blueprint to the top

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Paul Millsap needs a twin phone

Perfect matches: Handpicking players for certain teams in the 2017 NFL Draft

NFL Draft do-overs we'd most like to see

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Marshawn Lynch gives an already-spurned city hometown appeal

The 'Bonehead blunder that watered down the 1931 AL home run crown' quiz

Draft prospects we're most excited to see in the NFL

Stanley Cup Playoffs: The West is full of surprises

Everything you need for the 2017 NFL Draft

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

How the Astros are following the Cubs' blueprint to the top

The 'QB or not QB? That is the question' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Paul Millsap needs a twin phone

Perfect matches: Handpicking players for certain teams in the 2017 NFL Draft

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker