Clippers look to stay hot against Pistons
Everything is going smoothly for the Los Angeles Clippers. That's bad news for the Detroit Pistons, who haven't solved the Clippers for six seasons.
The Clippers have won 11 straight against the Pistons, including six in a row at The Palace of Auburn Hills, where they'll face each other on Friday. Los Angeles led by as many as 43 points while blowing out Detroit 114-82 in their first meeting this season on Nov. 7.
It's been that way against virtually every opponent during the first few weeks. The Clippers own the league's best record at 14-2 and carry a four-game winning streak to Detroit.
Los Angeles crushed the Dallas Mavericks on the road 124-104 on Wednesday, leading by 23 at halftime and keeping the game lopsided throughout the second half.
“We play hard every night,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers told the Los Angeles Times. “We believe that we can get a lot better, and I think that's driving us. And we believe that we can be special. I think those are the things that are driving us.”
None of the starters played more than 26 minutes against the Mavericks, so they should be fresh for their next challenge. Chris Paul led the starters with 18 points, four assists and four steals, while Austin Rivers had a team-high 22 points off the bench.
“The ball's hopping,” Paul told the Orange County Register. “Everyone is sharing the ball, finding guys. We know how potent our offense can be, but when our defense is rolling, that's when we're really having fun.”
The team hung around town on Thursday to attend the Washington Redskins-Dallas Cowboys NFL game. The Pistons had the luxury of being home for Thanksgiving, as they wrap up a four-game homestand on Friday.
Detroit (7-9) lost four straight before it manhandled the Miami Heat 107-84 on Wednesday. After they try to break their long losing streak to the Clippers, the Pistons play their next four games on the road.
“It was a win we needed,” coach Stan Van Gundy said. “Coming in having lost four in a row and with the schedule we have going forward, this is one we had to have because now, this next stretch of games is brutal.”
The Pistons' last victory over the Clippers was Nov. 12, 2010, when they captured a 113-107 overtime win at the Staples Center.
“The Clippers are on a tear right now, they're playing great,” Detroit center Andre Drummond said. “They're winning a lot of games and we've got to come out with the same energy we had (Wednesday) and try to get a win.”
Drummond set the tone against the Heat, overwhelming counterpart Hassan Whiteside while racking up 18 points, 15 rebounds, four blocks and four steals in just 26 minutes. He'll face another top-level center in DeAndre Jordan on Friday.
“When he's active like that, to me, he's probably the best center in the league,” Pistons forward Marcus Morris said. “He kept Whiteside out of the paint and definitely dominated (against Miami).”
Pistons reserve guard Reggie Bullock is expected to miss the game with a left leg injury.