As bad as the Los Angeles Clippers have been over the years, it’s been some time since they lost 12 straight on the road in a single season.
They’ll try to avoid doing so for the first time in 11 seasons when they look to avert a sweep by the Detroit Pistons on Friday night.
Los Angeles (5-21) fell 105-91 to Philadelphia on Wednesday to drop to 0-11 on the road. The Clippers last dropped 12 consecutive away games in one season Dec. 28, 1999-Feb. 20, 2000.
The overall road losing streak reached 15, and coach Vinny Del Negro is searching for answers after watching his team shoot 39.8 percent and commit 14 turnovers that led to 23 points.
“I didn’t like our effort at all,” Del Negro said. “We were OK in the first half but in the second half they were much more aggressive. We turned it over too much and they got some layups off breaks. Our execution on defense was poor.”
That’s the opposite of what Detroit coach John Kuester was feeling after his club won 103-80 over Atlanta on Tuesday. The Pistons bounced back after blowing a 25-point lead in a 120-116 home loss to Toronto on Saturday.
“Right now, every win is a great win, there’s no doubt about it,” Kuester said. “But by the same token, I thought we played a complete game. That’s what you’re looking for is guys to improve.”
The Pistons (8-18) will get another look at rookie Blake Griffin(notes), who had 20 points and 18 rebounds Wednesday for his 13th straight double-double. He has 19 double-doubles for the season - second most in the league - and has averaged 24.0 points and 13.7 boards in his last 13 games.
While Kaman remains out with an ankle injury, Davis made his second straight start Wednesday and scored a season-high 18. Backcourt mate Eric Gordon(notes), though, has struggled in making 15 of 41 shots in those two games.
“We’ve got to do a better job of playing five-man basketball,” Davis said.
Gordon’s 21.6 scoring average against Detroit is his second highest against any team. He scored 28 in last month’s loss.
Charlie Villanueva(notes) led Detroit with 30 points against the Clippers in November, and is one of the NBA’s top reserves with a 13.1 scoring average. He has averaged 20.0 points and 7.5 rebounds in the last two games.
“It feels good to have this type of win because we’re capable of doing that,” McGrady said. “We just have to realize how we did it.”
The Pistons can sweep the series from the Clippers for the seventh time in the last eight seasons. Los Angeles won both meetings in 2009-10, ending an eight-game slide at Detroit with a 104-96 victory last Nov. 27.