Pistons 117, Suns 77

Before leaving the court after their most lopsided win in nearly

five years, the Detroit Pistons huddled near midcourt for a brief

pep talk.

It’s been another mediocre season so far, but a few more

performances like this would turn things around in a hurry.

”We got a great win here at home – let’s keep going,” guard

Brandon Knight said. ”Every day, keep building.”

Knight and Charlie Villanueva scored 19 points apiece, and the

Pistons routed the Phoenix Suns 117-77 on Wednesday night. Detroit

has won back-to-back games for the first time this season and has

gone 5-3 since opening the season with eight straight losses.

The Pistons led 55-44 at halftime and then broke the game open

when the Suns came unglued in the third quarter. Phoenix picked up

four technical fouls in the third and trailed by as many as 44 in

the fourth.

Detroit shot 12 of 16 from 3-point range.

”A lot of good play from a lot of good guys,” Pistons 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.”

Rodney Stuckey added 18 points for Detroit. Kyle Singler and

Tayshaun Prince contributed 12 each, and Greg Monroe had nine

points and eight rebounds.

Afterward, the team stayed on the court in a huddle, already

trying to set the tone for the next game on the schedule.

”The message was basically: `Continue doing what we’re doing.

Everybody stay together.”’

Luis Scola scored 11 points for the Suns, who beat Detroit 92-89

at Phoenix in early November.

It was Detroit’s most lopsided win since beating Milwaukee

114-69 on Dec. 31, 2007.

Phoenix was in the third game of a six-game road trip. It was

24-all after the first quarter, but the Suns went the entire second

period and most of the third without a single assist.

”There was nothing that we did that you could say was even NCAA

quality,” Phoenix coach Alvin Gentry said. ”There’s not anything

to say. It was an absolutely horrendous game, and we’ll have to do

much, much better.”

Corey Maggette’s 3-pointer capped a 15-5 run in the second and

gave Detroit a 52-38 lead. It was an 11-point game after two and

the worst was still to come for the Suns.

Detroit’s Jason Maxiell and Phoenix’s Markieff Morris were

called for a double technical early in the third, and Maxiell

followed that with a dunk that made it 59-44. Knight was then

fouled on a fast break by Shannon Brown, who was whistled for a

technical of his own. The Detroit guard made all three free throws

for an 18-point lead.

Goran Dragic was the next to get a technical, and when Sebastian

Telfair was called for one with 5:03 left in the third, Phoenix had

as many technicals in the quarter as points. A free throw by

Stuckey made it 74-48.

”It’s embarrassing. No professional loses by 30 or 40,”

Phoenix’s Jared Dudley said. ”It’s kind of how we lost. Let’s be

honest, Detroit is not a really good team. Their team has

struggled, like us at times.”

At one point in the third, Gentry sent a whole new group of five

to the scorer’s table to check in, although they couldn’t all do so

at once because the Suns had a player shooting free throws.

Phoenix couldn’t even manage a cosmetic fourth-quarter run to

make it respectable. After a 3-pointer by Knight pushed the lead to

40, Gentry called a timeout and stood with his hands on his hips,

staring out at the court with a bemused look on his face. A dunk by

Detroit rookie Andre Drummond made it 109-67.

NOTES: Phoenix did avoid the most lopsided loss by an NBA team

this season, according to STATS, LLC. Charlotte lost to Oklahoma

City 114-69 on Monday. … The last team to go a whole quarter

without an assist was Toronto on Nov. 13, in the fourth against

Indiana, according to STATS.