With Stuckey expected to miss a second straight game Wednesday night, the Pistons will try to end another skid by knocking off the surging Utah Jazz for the first time in nearly five years.
While on the bench, Detroit’s third-year guard fell into the arms of strength and conditioning coach Arnie Kander during the third quarter of Friday’s 99-92 loss to Cleveland. An oxygen mask was put on his face and the team’s second-leading scorer with a career-best 17.1 points per game was wheeled to a waiting ambulance.
Stuckey was released from the renowned Cleveland Clinic the following afternoon.
On Sunday, the Pistons (22-41) ended a six-game slide by rallying for a 110-107 overtime victory over Houston in the opener of a four-game homestand.
“The most important thing tonight is that Rodney is back home, and it looks like he’s healthy,” said Will Bynum(notes), who started in Stuckey’s absence. “Once we learned that, we could start worrying about trying to get a win tonight. I haven’t had many chances lately, and we haven’t won many games. Tonight, both happened, and it feels good.”
Bynum scored 12 points in place of Stuckey, who has no timetable for returning.
“Just got to talk to the doctors and figure that out,” Stuckey told the team’s Web site after attending practice Tuesday. “I’m feeling fine now so that’s all that matters. The doctors are doing a good job, and I’m getting a lot of rest.”
The Jazz (41-22) also edged Detroit 120-114 in double overtime in their previous trip to the Palace of Auburn Hills on Dec. 19, 2008. Deron Williams(notes) scored a team-best 29 points in Utah’s fourth straight win there.
The All-Star guard also led the way Tuesday night during Utah’s 22nd victory in 27 games and ninth in 11 road contests. Williams had 28 points and a season-high 17 assists as the Jazz beat Chicago 132-108 to open a four-game trip.
Despite the blowout victory, Williams still saw room for his team to improve.
“I thought we were more focused in the second half,” he told the league’s official Web site. “We were soft in the second half but not as soft (as in the first). Our defense isn’t where it needs to be.”
While Detroit is on pace to miss the postseason for the first time in nine years, the Jazz are within one game of Northwest Division-leading Denver, who play later on Wednesday at Minnesota. A victory also would clinch a fourth straight winning season for Utah.
The Pistons, meanwhile, are searching for their first triumph against the Jazz since a 64-62 home victory on March 13, 2005.