The Detroit Pistons dug themselves an early hole this season as they struggled on the road.
Detroit still has a ways to go to reach the break-even point, but it’s heading in the right direction by taking care of business at Auburn Hills.
The Pistons look to push their home winning streak to four – and post their first set of back-to-back victories this season – on Wednesday night against the Phoenix Suns.
Starting with a 92-89 loss to the Suns (7-8) on Nov. 2, Detroit (4-11) dropped six straight on the road during its franchise-worst 0-8 start.
The Pistons, though, are one game above .500 since then after snapping a 12-game skid to Western Conference teams with Monday’s 108-101 victory over Portland.
Detroit last won four straight at home from Feb. 29-March 10.
“When teams come here, they have to know that they’re going to be in for a fight and know they’re going to have to play close to a perfect game to get out of here with a win,” point guard Brandon Knight told the Pistons’ official website Monday after scoring a season-high 26 points with six assists.
The Suns had their five-game winning streak in this series snapped in their last visit to Auburn Hills, a 75-74 loss on Jan. 22, 2011. Prior to that contest, Phoenix was 62-0 all-time when it had allowed fewer than 80 points.
Led by point guard Goran Dragic’s 19 points and seven assists, the Suns improved their record to 70-1 in such contests on Tuesday, defeating Cleveland 91-78 to improve to 1-1 on a season-high six-game trip.
It was the fewest points allowed this season by Phoenix, which entered the contest giving up league-high 103.3 per game.
“We’re not the best team in the West, but we can play better and we can come home above .500,” swingman Jared Dudley said after the Suns scored the final 14 points of the third quarter en route to its third win in four games.
A win would move the Suns back to .500 for the first time in more than two weeks, but slowing down the Pistons could be a challenge if Detroit spreads the ball around like it did on Monday. Seven players scored in double figures and eight had at least two assists in the team’s highest scoring game of 2012-13.
“We had four possessions that resulted in a score where all five guys touched the ball,” coach Lawrence Frank said. “To have seven guys in double figures and to have a bunch of guys with multiple assists, that’s great.”
Frank couldn’t be more pleased with the play of rookie guard Kyle Singler, who is averaging 12.0 points and 3.7 rebounds while starting each game since the 0-8 start. The former Duke star recorded his first double-double on Monday, finishing with 16 points, 10 rebounds, five assists, two steals and a block.
“Kyle, I thought, was outstanding, playing a very, very complete game,” Frank said. “Defensively, he was very, very solid – ran the floor extremely well, passed the ball well, rebounding.”
Pistons center Greg Monroe, who is averaging 19.7 points and 11.3 boards during the home surge, had 10 points and six rebounds on Nov. 2.
Suns center Marcin Gortat scored 16 points and grabbed a season-best 16 rebounds in that contest, and Dragic added 15 points and 10 assists to help Phoenix win for the seventh time in eight matchups with Detroit.