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Pistons-Clippers Preview

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It's been more than a month since either the Detroit Pistons or the Los Angeles Clippers recorded three straight victories, but one of those clubs will end its drought Wednesday night.

The Pistons look to win their seventh straight road game against the Clippers, who snapped a 13-game losing streak in the series earlier this season.

The Pistons (21-35) haven't won three straight since Jan. 12-16, but they put themselves in position to match that streak by cruising to a 101-89 win in Sacramento on Tuesday night, the opener of a four-game western trip.

Richard Hamilton scored 30 points and Tayshaun Prince added 22, helping Detroit take a 30-point lead in the third quarter and hold on for the win.

"We're trying to build on this game, make the best of what we have left in the season," Prince said.

To do so, the Pistons will have to beat a Clippers team that's searching for its first three-game win streak since a run of four consecutive victories from Dec. 31-Jan. 10.

Los Angeles (23-33) picked up its latest victory Monday night, beating Charlotte 98-94 behind 20 points from Rasual Butler, who has averaged 17.3 points and shot 47.7 percent (21 for 44) from 3-point range over his last six games.

Chris Kaman had 18 points and 13 rebounds against the Bobcats, and Drew Gooden and Travis Outlaw added 10 points apiece in their debuts with the Clippers. It was also Outlaw's first game since undergoing surgery on his left foot in November, while playing for Portland.

"Drew Gooden and Steve Blake (acquired from the Blazers with Outlaw on Feb. 16) came in and played well for us and gave a good contribution," Kaman said. "I thought Travis played pretty well after being out for so long. It's nice to have options on the court."

Kaman and Baron Davis were the main options in a 104-96 victory at Detroit on Nov. 27, the Clippers' first win over the Pistons since Nov. 3, 2002.

Kaman, an All-Star center and former Central Michigan standout, helped his team rally from a seven-point halftime deficit with 26 points, including two key baskets in the final 2:24. Davis added 25 points and 10 assists as Los Angeles shot 58.7 percent from the field.

The Pistons, who shot 39.6 percent, were led by Jonas Jerebko's career-best 22 points. The rookie forward, however, might not be available after injuring his ankle Tuesday.

Detroit, which has alternated wins and losses in its last seven road games, didn't have Hamilton or Prince in the first meeting with Los Angeles due to injury.

Hamilton comes into this matchup averaging 30.5 points on 54.5 percent shooting over the past four games. He's also made 51 straight free throws.

"He's getting his legs back, that's important,'' Pistons coach John Kuester said of the veteran shooting guard, who's been limited to 29 games this season by ankle and hamstring injuries. "He's coming off screens well and it's allowing him to get good looks."

Hamilton, who hasn't faced Los Angeles since March 1, 2008, has averaged 14.4 points - 3.6 below his career average - despite shooting 56.1 percent in the previous five matchups. He's scored 22.1 per game in his last eight road games in the series.

Prince is averaging 21.7 points in his last three games against the Clippers.

Tagged: Pistons, Clippers, Lakers, Baron Davis, Richard Hamilton, Rasual Butler, Tayshaun Prince, Drew Gooden, Chris Kaman, Travis Outlaw, Steve Blake

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