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

Best and worst from NBA All-Star Saturday night

WATCH: Klay Thompson can't go home unless he beats Steph Curry in 3-Point contest

Star players are hurting Houston Rockets

Emmitt Smith: Adrian Peterson only current player who could break rushing record

Coach K gets buzzer-beater win over Virginia for his birthday

Baylor approves new measures to deal with sexual assault

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Joe Mauer: Concussions blurred vision, affected hitting

LeBron James says Kevin Love-Celtics trade rumor is false

Michael Jordan gifts Kobe Bryant full set of Air Jordans

Bethune-Cookman football player killed at party

Former UFC heavyweight Kevin Randleman dead at 44

WATCH: Chelsea scores three goals in less than 20 minutes

LaVine, Gordon put on best NBA dunk contest in years

WATCH: Thompson beats teammate Curry in 3-point contest

NFL teams, players hand out awesome Valentines

Earl Campbell ‘disappointed’ in Johnny Manziel, wants to help

Big man Karl-Anthony Towns wins NBA skills challenge

MLB commish: Cubs will host All-Star Game in near future

WATCH: Memphis forward recreates Vince Carter's elbow dunk in game

Bruins forward is goal scoring machine after suspension

Michael Jordan gives Kobe Bryant complete set of Air Jordans

Drake has Kentucky edition of custom ‘OVO’ Air Jordan 8s

QUIZ: Name every NBA All-Star Game MVP

Watch rare footage of Stephen Curry from 2001-02 emerges

Check out this custom camouflage Oregon helmet

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

Ranking the ten best free agent pitcher signings

Who had the best NBA All-Star Game of the last 40 years?

The winners and losers of the 2016 MLB offseason

On Kobe Bryant and taking greatness for granted

Bucks need to choose between wins, development

Fantasy booking WrestleMania 32

Unrestricted free agents each team must consider re-signing

QUIZ: Name the winners of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

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