This past week left the Pistons wondering when they might get to face the Cleveland Cavaliers again.
The previous week the Pistons got two wins at the Cavaliers’ expense. This week they weren’t so fortunate.
The Pistons dropped to 7-19 overall after an 0-4 week.
Monday the Pistons traveled to Philadelphia, the site of their first road win Nov. 14. A repeat performance was not in the cards as they fell to the 76ers, 104-97.
As has happened so often this season, the Pistons came out of halftime cold. The 76ers went on a 14-0 run to take a 60-49 lead and didn’t look back.
“At the end of the day, we have to be cleaner,” coach Lawrence Frank told reporters in Philadelphia. “We gave up 58 points in the second half.”
On Tuesday, the Pistons had to play their fourth game in five nights, facing the Denver Nuggets.
After a 21-4 run early, the Pistons couldn’t sustain it, eventually falling 101-94.
JaVale McGee, Corey Brewer and Andre Miller came off the bench to spark the comeback for the Nuggets.
“It can be very frustrating,” Kyle Singler said. “But I thought we came out and played very well, but you’ve got to play all four quarters and you’ve got to give Denver credit. They played well, kept with it. They fought. It was a good game. We just came up short at the end.”
The Pistons had a couple of days off and ended up needing it as they fought the Brooklyn Nets through two overtimes. It ended on a buzzer-beating game-winning jumper by Joe Johnson, 107-105.
“It seemed like when he let it go, the ball is in the air forever,” Tayshaun Prince told reporters in Brooklyn. “If it was a situation where he got in the paint and made something, then I’d be a little bit upset. But those type of shots, you can’t control when a guy steps back and hits a three-point shot for the win. I just feel so bad for our guys, man. They worked so hard for this. They fought and fought and fought.”
The Pistons had a chance to salvage their week against the Indiana Pacers Saturday night.
But despite the loss of center Roy Hibbert after the first half, the physical Pacers took care of the Pistons, 88-77.
“It came down to a grind game in the last eight minutes of the game,” rookie Andre Drummond said. “They did what they do best and that’s win grind games. They’re a great team and David West hit a lot of tough shots. It was a learning game for us.” LAST WEEK
Dec. 10: Philadelphia 76ers 104, PISTONS 97. Greg Monroe and Brandon Knight each scored 22 points but couldn’t contain the 76ers, who were playing without Andrew Bynum, out with an injured right knee.
Dec. 11: Denver Nuggets 101, PISTONS 94. A hot start ended up sputtering as the Pistons couldn’t hold off the Nuggets, who have beaten the Pistons six straight times. The one accomplishment the Pistons had was keeping Kenneth Faried from getting an offensive rebound.
Dec. 14: Brooklyn Nets 107, PISTONS 105, 2 OT. Despite the Nets’ 21-1 second-quarter run, the Pistons were in position to win this game more than once. They had a six-point lead they failed to hold in the last minute and a half of regulation.
Dec. 15: Indiana Pacers 88, PISTONS 77. David West came on in the second half, scoring 13 of his game-high 23 points in the fourth quarter. The Pacers have the top defense in points allowed and field-goal percentage, which they showed in holding the Pistons to 77 points and 38.6 percent shooting.
Brandon Knight: Until the fourth game of the week, Knight scored at least 20 points every game. Knight shot pretty well until going 6-for-17 with 14 points against the Pacers.
Rodney Stuckey: Stuckey seems to have found a groove in the sixth man role. Stuckey averaged 17.5 points in the four games.
Jason Maxiell: Maxiell started the week off shooting 1-for-10 for two points against the 76ers and ended it going 0-for-3 for no points against the Pacers.
Charlie Villanueva: Villanueva is back in the rotation but he’s not getting quite enough time to get into a groove, ending up 6-for-21 for the week.
Monday: vs. the Los Angeles Clippers at the Palace, 7:30 p.m. The 17-6 Clippers, winners of nine straight, are probably not the team you want to face when you are trying to end a four-game losing streak. Former Piston Chauncey Billups has recovered from a torn Achilles and will be playing his fourth game.
Wednesday: at the Toronto Raptors, 7 p.m. The Pistons are just one game better than the Raptors but they’ve won two in a row. They’re certainly a lot better at home, 5-5, than they are on the road, 1-14.
Friday: vs the Washington Wizards at the Palace, 7:30 p.m. Perhaps the Wizards will be for the Pistons what the Cavaliers were for them two weeks ago. The Wizards are 3-18 overall, 1-10 on the road and have lost three straight heading into the week. Saturday: at the Washington Wizards, 7 p.m. Jordan Crawford leads the Wizards with just 14.3 points per game. Overall, the Wizards are averaging just 89.8 points a game.