The Detroit Pistons snapped a recent stretch of poor play at the expense of one of the league’s worst teams.
They’ll get a chance for consecutive wins for the first time in more than two weeks when they visit another struggling team, the Toronto Raptors.
The Pistons had lost three of five after winning six straight from Feb. 14-Feb. 27, but beat Charlotte 94-78 on Sunday.
The win lifted the Pistons to a 3-3 mark after opening the season with a 47-9 record.
“We don’t expect to go out there in one night and be back to where we were a couple months ago,” said Detroit center Ben Wallace, who had eight points and 15 rebounds. “We have to build that.”
The Pistons need 14 wins in their final 20 games to break the franchise record of 63, set in 1988-89 when they won they won their first championship. This also is the start of a three-game road trip for Detroit, which has dropped 10 of 12 away from the Palace of Auburn Hills.
“This is step one, but we don’t want to be at step 10 right now anyway,” Pistons coach Flip Saunders said. “We have a few weeks yet before we want to be at step 10.”
“It’s been a long time since I’ve touched the ball that many times,” said Prince, who entered the game averaging 13.6 points. “Once you get going some nights, you can keep things rolling for yourself.”
Although the Raptors have gone 22-26 since starting the season 1-15, they are still languishing near the bottom of the Eastern Conference.
The Raptors snapped a six-game road losing streak by beating Philadelphia 111-97 on Tuesday night. Chris Bosh had 31 points for Toronto, which used a zone defense to stop the 76ers, who played without Allen Iverson.
The Raptors also made six 3-pointers in the fourth quarter to win for the second consecutive time. Before the modest streak, Toronto had lost nine of its previous 10 games.
“They had control in the third quarter, but when we move the ball, we’re a good basketball team,” Toronto coach Sam Mitchell said. “We only have four guys who can make 3s, but we work on it all the time.”
Bosh, who is averaging career-highs of 22.6 points and 9.3 rebounds, posted a career-high 37 points against the Pistons on Dec. 27, but the Raptors lost their fifth straight to Detroit.
Toronto is only 4-15 at home against Detroit in franchise history, but two of the victories came in the last three meetings.