In a season of mostly sloppy play offensively, the Detroit Pistons have a rare opportunity to make themselves look good.
Stumbling following a fast start to a four-game road trip, the Pistons look to extend a five-game winning streak against the Golden State Warriors and their porous defense Saturday night.
Detroit (21-37) opened its trip with its best shooting game of the season, making 58.4 percent of its attempts in a 101-89 win over Sacramento on Tuesday night. The Pistons, though, lost 97-91 to the Los Angeles Clippers the following night and 107-102 to Denver on Friday.
Detroit has dropped four of six overall after winning four of its previous six. Though they shot 44.6 percent and committed 17 turnovers, the Pistons managed to top 100 points versus a Nuggets team that surrenders an average of 102.7.
It was the 10th time Detroit has reached triple digits this season.
The Pistons rank 29th in the league in scoring, averaging 92.5 points. Only league-worst New Jersey has a lower average (90.1).
“We need quality possessions,” coach John Kuester said. “You’ve got to make sure you continually get good opportunities … we have to fight through that.”
Detroit is averaging 107.8 points during a five-game winning streak against Golden State (16-41), which is allowing an NBA-worst 111.0 points per game.
The Pistons have reached 100 in consecutive games that did not last past regulation only once this season, beating Denver 101-99 on Dec. 10 and Golden State 104-95 two days later.
Pistons guard Richard Hamilton(notes), meanwhile, is enjoying his best scoring stretch of the season, averaging 27.2 points over his last six games, though he’s shot 34.2 percent (13 for 38) in his last two.
Hamilton has missed 27 games due to various injuries, but Detroit is now relatively healthy. Golden State, meanwhile, continues to be one of the league’s most injury-plagued teams.
Second-leading scorer Correy Maggette (hamstring) has missed the last three games and will be out at least another two weeks. Monta Ellis(notes), averaging a career-best 25.7 points, has been playing with a sore back, shooting 32.9 percent in four games after missing his previous three.
C.J. Watson(notes) (flu-like symptoms) was held out of Golden State’s 127-112 loss to Denver on Thursday night, and a team spokesman indicated the third-year guard might also be suffering from appendicitis. His status is uncertain.
Watson is averaging 9.9 points this season, but has posted a 23.4 average over his last five games as the Warriors try to fill the void left by Maggette.
Rookie point guard Stephen Curry(notes) has also had a strong run, averaging 23.4 points, 8.5 assists and 6.3 rebounds in his last nine contests. Curry had 30 points against the Nuggets on Thursday, but Golden State lost for the 13th time in its last 16 games.