Detroit, off to a 13-2 start under first-year coach Flip Saunders, also boasts the NBA’s best road mark at 8-1, with the lone loss coming in a 119-82 drubbing at Dallas that ended the Pistons’ season-opening eight-game win streak — one shy of the best start in franchise history.
The defending Eastern Conference champions haven’t slowed down much since, reeling off five victories in six games since that defeat, and four in a row overall, including Saturday’s 92-79 triumph at Chicago.
Ben Wallace led the way with 26 points and five rebounds for Detroit, which enjoyed a five-day break before heading out west to take on the much-improved Warriors. The Pistons will travel to Los Angeles to meet the Clippers on Sunday before closing out the trip Monday in Utah.
“I had to bring a swagger to us tonight,” Wallace said. “We have the next two days off so there was no reason to save any energy tonight.”
Richard Hamilton, the Pistons’ top scorer, managed just 10 points against the Bulls after averaging 30 in his previous three games. Hamilton is averaging just under 15 points and shooting 25 percent from the floor in his last two meetings with the Warriors.
Golden State, emerging as a Western Conference contender after years of frustration, had a season-high five-game winning streak snapped with Wednesday’s 118-110 loss to Phoenix.
The Warriors played without leading rebounder Troy Murphy, who was out with the flu.
“Murph is a big reason, but we can’t say we lost the game because of Murph,” Golden State guard Jason Richardson said. “We lost the game because we didn’t play. We didn’t get key stops at the end.”
The Warriors haven’t lost back-to-back games this season. They hadn’t lost at home to the Pistons since 1999 before getting swept in last season’s two-game series.
STANDINGS (through Dec. 8): Pistons - 1st place, Central Division. Warriors - 3rd place, 1 1/2 GB, Pacific Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Pistons - Hamilton, 21.7 ppg; Ben Wallace, 11.5 rpg; Billups, 8.5 apg. Warriors - Richardson, 22.2 ppg; Murphy, 8.6 rpg; Davis, 9.3 apg.
2004-05 SEASON SERIES: Detroit, 2-0.
LAST MEETING: March 9; Detroit 92-88. At Detroit, Prince had 20 points as the Pistons snapped a three-game losing streak.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Pistons - 8-1 on the road; Warriors - 8-4 at home.