Pistons-Trail Blazers Preview

After a rough start, the Detroit Pistons have strung together

consecutive victories. Continuing that success against the Portland

Trail Blazers could be difficult.

The Pistons try to avoid a fifth straight loss to the Trail

Blazers on Tuesday night at the Rose Garden as they open a

four-game western road trip.

Detroit (2-5) lost its first five games before posting home wins

over Charlotte and Golden State. Richard Hamilton scored 27 points

and Rodney Stuckey overcame a tumultuous five-day stretch to add 21

with nine assists in Sunday’s 102-97 win over the Warriors.

The Pistons look to carry their recent success over to the road

where they are 0-3 this season. Detroit finished 10-21 away from

home in 2009-10, including a 3-12 mark versus the Western

Conference.

“When you are going to the West Coast, it is always important to

have a good performance in your last home game,” coach John

Kuester said. “Two in a row feels good when we are heading

west.”

It should help provide some momentum for a stop in Portland,

where the Pistons have averaged 86.0 points while losing three in a

row. They’ve also dropped four straight overall in the series while

failing to score more than 93 points in any of those games.

Stuckey has totaled 41 points in his last two games against the

Trail Blazers. He scored 21 in an 87-81 loss at Portland last Nov.

18.

The point guard went 7 of 15 from the field Sunday in his return

to the starting lineup. Stuckey was benched for most of the second

half Wednesday at Atlanta after he ignored Kuester, then didn’t

play at all Friday against the Bobcats.

“It’s done,” Kuester said. “We’ve moved on.”

Hamilton has totaled 43 points in his last two games after

missing the previous two with a foot injury. He made 10 of 17 shots

against the Warriors after going 15 of 41 during his previous four

contests.

“Rip’s a shooter, and he’s going to go out there and shoot each

and every game,” Stuckey said. “We all knew he was going to get it

going.”

Hamilton had 25 points and nine assists in a 97-93 home loss to

Portland on Jan. 23.

After starting 3-0, the Trail Blazers have lost three of five

including a 121-96 defeat to the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday.

Leading scorers Brandon Roy (20.3 points per game) and LaMarcus

Aldridge (18.3 ppg) were held to eight apiece.

“We got a lot we got to work on,” coach Nate McMillan told the

Blazers’ official website.

The Trail Blazers should have a good chance to bounce back

against the struggling Pistons. Three of Portland’s victories have

come against Toronto, Milwaukee and the Clippers, teams with a

combined 4-17 record.

Andre Miller had 20 points against the Lakers but has averaged

10.7 in three home games this season.

Roy and Aldridge each scored 20 in the last year’s home victory

over the Pistons.