The Detroit Pistons have desperately missed Tayshaun Prince’s(notes) scoring this season. The veteran forward, though, seems to be coming around approaching the All-Star break, and a matchup with the Sacramento Kings may do nothing to slow his momentum.
After getting a boost from Prince, the Pistons look to win two straight at home for the first time in nearly a month as they face the Sacramento Kings and their porous defense Wednesday night.
Detroit (18-32) ranks 29th in the league in scoring, averaging 91.6 points. Only league-worst New Jersey (90.1) has scored fewer.
Despite averaging a modest 93.0 points over their last four games, the Pistons have won three of those contests - two on the road.
One night after a 93-81 victory at Milwaukee, Detroit - which beat New Jersey 99-92 at The Palace of Auburn Hills on Saturday - will try to win consecutive home games for the first time since a three-game run Jan. 15-20.
The Pistons dropped five straight at home following that stretch.
“It’s a matter of time before we get back in our flow,” Prince said. “It takes a while. You want it to come back as soon as you step on the basketball court, but in this game, it doesn’t happen that way.”
Another strong game from Prince would certainly help the Pistons’ cause. He shot 7 of 11 against the Bucks and finished with a season-high 18 points.
Prince averaged at least 14.1 points in four of his previous five seasons, but is scoring 9.2 per game in 2009-10, while being limited to 17 contests due to lower back and left knee injuries.
He averaged 24.5 points and 10.5 rebounds to help Detroit sweep last season’s two-game series against Sacramento (17-34), and may be in line for another strong performance versus the Kings.
Sacramento ranks 27th in the league in scoring defense, allowing 105.9 points per game. The Kings have been even worse over their last five contests, surrendering an average of 114.0 points.
Prince won’t be the only player Sacramento will have to worry about defending. Pistons guard Rodney Stuckey(notes) had 38 points - two shy of his career high - in a 98-92 victory over the Kings on Jan. 2, 2008, the teams’ last meeting.
Evans led Sacramento’s comeback against New York on Tuesday night, finishing with 27 points and 10 rebounds as the Kings snapped a six-game losing streak with a 118-114 overtime victory. Evans had 12 points in the final 7 minutes of regulation to rally Sacramento from a 15-point deficit.
The 6-foot-6 guard, selected fourth overall in last year’s draft, leads all first-year players in scoring (20.5 points per game) but had been in a minor slump. He was held under 13 points in three of his previous four games, the only exception being a 32-point effort in a 115-113 loss to San Antonio last Wednesday night.