Detroit (11-14) at Oklahoma City (12-12)

Mostly Clear Currently: Oklahoma City, OK, US
Temp: 85° F
  • Game info: 8:00 pm EST Fri Dec 18, 2009
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After twisting an ankle in the season opener, Richard Hamilton(notes) missed the Detroit Pistons’ first matchup with the Oklahoma City Thunder. A month and a half later, a hamstring injury is now hampering Hamilton.

Following a short stint back on the court, Hamilton’s status is again uncertain as the Pistons look to avoid being swept in their season series with the Thunder franchise for the first time in 12 years Friday night.

Hamilton hurt his ankle in Detroit’s season opener. The Pistons (11-14) lost 91-83 to Oklahoma City (12-12) in their first contest without the veteran swingman, and he missed another 20 games.

Hamilton then came back for two games, but missed Detroit’s 95-87 loss to New Orleans on Wednesday night due to a sore right hamstring. He’s been effective when on the court, averaging 21.3 points.

The Pistons were already without Tayshaun Prince(notes) (back) and Ben Gordon(notes) (ankle).

Prince hasn’t played since the first week of the season and is out indefinitely. Gordon, who has missed five straight games, is day to day.

Gordon matched Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant(notes) with 25 points in the teams’ previous meeting. The Pistons have lost two straight against the Thunder after winning the previous eight against the franchise.

Detroit hasn’t been swept in this series since dropping two games against the Seattle Supersonics in 1997-98.

The Pistons have lost consecutive games after winning their previous five. Oklahoma City, meanwhile, has lost three in a row for the second time this season.

“It’s all about bouncing back and getting better the next day. That’s what I’m about,” Durant said.

The Thunder have given up 100 points or more in six of eight games, including a 100-86 loss to Dallas on Wednesday night. It was also the third straight game Oklahoma City was held under 94 points.

Durant matched a season low with 12 points on 4-of-18 shooting. The third-year swingman, averaging 27.8 points, had at least 25 in nine straight games.

“There’s 82 games. You can’t play well in all 82,” Durant said. “That’d be nice, but I don’t think that has ever happened.”

Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook(notes), meanwhile, remains mired in a slump. He matched his season average with 16 points versus the Mavericks, but shot 6 for 19 and has made 32.1 percent (35 for 109) of his attempts over his last seven games.

Westbrook is averaging 9.7 points and shooting 29.4 percent (10 for 34) in three games against the Pistons, but had 10 assists in this season’s first matchup with them.

Westbrook will likely avoid having to match up much with Pistons leading scorer Rodney Stuckey(notes), who has moved to shooting guard due to Gordon’s injury. Stuckey is averaging 23.1 points in his last 11 games.

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Friday, Dec 18