The Detroit Pistons snapped one of the longest losing streaks in franchise history in their previous game, and they’ll get plenty of chances this month to end their current slide at home.
Snapping that skid on Friday night, however, could prove a difficult task.
To avoid a sixth consecutive home loss, the Pistons will have to get past the red-hot New Orleans Hornets, who will try to earn their eighth win in nine games.
Detroit (12-25) won for the first time in a month Tuesday night, 99-90 at Washington, to avoid tying a single-season, franchise-worst 14-game losing streak. The Pistons, though, haven’t celebrated a home victory since beating Golden State 104-95 on Dec. 12.
During its longest home skid in 10 seasons, Detroit has suffered each of its five losses by double digits and by an average of 16 points. The Pistons dropped eight in a row at home Dec. 30, 2000-Feb. 2, 2001, but they’ll get more than a few opportunities to avoid matching that slide.
Detroit plays eight of this month’s remaining nine games at the Palace, including a season-high six-game homestand to finish January, but it would probably like to kick off that stretch with another solid offensive performance.
In Tuesday’s victory, the Pistons just missed scoring 100 points for the first time since their win over Golden State but were a season-best 10 of 16 from 3-point range. Charlie Villanueva(notes) made five of those shots en route to a team-leading 23 points, and Rodney Stuckey(notes) added 19 points and a career high-tying 11 assists.
The Pistons, though, might have plenty to worry about when they face the Hornets (20-17), especially if Emeka Okafor(notes) and Peja Stojakovic(notes) continue to complement All-Stars Chris Paul(notes) and David West(notes).
Okafor led New Orleans with 21 points in its 108-94 home victory against the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday night and Stojakovic scored 20 for the second time in three games.
“We’ve been in a groove the past couple games,” Okafor said. “Today everything was working and the next thing you know we’re up 20.”
Okafor, acquired in an offseason trade with Charlotte, will attempt to score at least 20 points in a season-high third straight game Friday for the Hornets, who have averaged 104.5 in their past four games.
They’ve also allowed an average of 95.5 points over the past eight after giving up 101.3 during a 13-16 start.
They nearly matched their season low for points allowed in a 95-87 home win against Detroit on Dec. 16, and West scored 32 points in New Orleans’ third straight victory over the Pistons.
The Hornets are 5-14 on the road this season but have won three of four. They’re also searching for their third win in four games at the Palace dating back to the start of the 2006-07 season.