Pistons look to avoid six-game losing streak
Blake Griffin and Chris Paul will try to use a reliable piece of their partnership to keep the Los Angeles Clippers winning on their lengthy road trip.
The Clippers’ two stars have often proved troublesome for the Detroit Pistons in recent seasons, and Los Angeles will seek a seventh consecutive win over that scuffling club Wednesday night.
With Griffin and Paul working the pick and roll more often, the Clippers (8-5) easily handled Charlotte in a 113-92 victory Monday. Griffin finished with 22 points, 16 rebounds and nine assists while helping Los Angeles bounce back from its lone loss so far on its seven-game trek, a 107-91 defeat at Memphis on Sunday.
Paul had 22 points and 15 assists as the Clippers improved to 3-1 on the trip.
"This is our fourth year together and obviously your game changes and evolves and stuff like that, but we both realize our bread and butter used to be when I would attack downhill and he was rolling to the basket," Paul said. "So we are trying to mix that in more."
Los Angeles will next try to send Detroit (3-11) to a sixth consecutive defeat. The Pistons have also dropped three straight at the Palace of Auburn Hills, where the Clippers have won four in a row.
Paul missed the latest visit – a 112-103 victory Jan. 20 – because of a shoulder injury, but he had a team-leading 28 points on 10-of-15 shooting and 15 assists in a 112-103 home win March 22. Paul is shooting 60.9 percent (42 of 69) while averaging 20.8 points and 12.2 assists in his last five meetings.
Griffin is shooting 66.7 percent (30 of 45) and averaging 24.0 points in the last three wins over Detroit.
Detroit, meanwhile, has one of the league’s most anemic offenses this season, averaging 91.7 points on 41.3 percent shooting, and its leading scorer Brandon Jennings missed Tuesday’s 98-86 loss in Milwaukee because of a hyperextended left thumb. D.J. Augustin had 11 points and seven assists in his place, but also committed five turnovers.
Andre Drummond was a bright spot in the defeat with a season-high 23 points on 11-of-15 shooting and 10 rebounds. The Detroit center was averaging 8.7 points and shooting 39.7 percent before that game.
The Pistons couldn’t overcome a season high-tying 19 turnovers, the Bucks’ 19 offensive rebounds and a 7-for-17 showing from the free-throw line.
"We just have to play hard and consistent for as long as we can," veteran forward Caron Butler said. "We have to try string together some wins, particularly at home, and start to feel good about yourself. It’s going to happen by committee."
Even if Jennings can return for this game, it might not help too much. The Clippers held him to 21.7 percent shooting (5 of 23) in the two matchups in 2013-14.
Jennings, averaging 16.0 points on a career-high 43.8 percent shooting this season, was a career-worst 0-for-7 during a scoreless performance in Detroit. He managed to score 19 points in the loss in Los Angeles.
The Pistons had their lone six-game losing streak last season Dec. 27-Jan. 8.