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Pelicans-Pistons Preview

AP - Sports

After another lackluster defensive performance, the inconsistent Detroit Pistons are hoping to end their struggles at home.

Despite the efforts of Anthony Davis, the New Orleans Pelicans have had a difficult time winning regardless of the venue.

The Pistons seek only their second victory in nine home games while dealing the short-handed Pelicans their 10th loss in 11 contests overall Friday night.

Detroit (17-25) will try to recover after failing to hold on to a 13-point, third-quarter lead in a humbling 104-101 loss at league-worst Milwaukee on Wednesday.

After combining to score 46 in his previous two games, Josh Smith finished with eight points on 2-of-10 shooting and missed two fouls shots with five seconds left before Rodney Stuckey missed a desperation 3-pointer at the buzzer.

''It's important we keep the attitude and intensity," guard Brandon Jennings said. "I think we got a little comfortable, but we can't let that happen. No matter what their record is, that's an NBA team over there."

Jennings bounced back with 30 points after being held scoreless for the second time in his career in a 112-103 loss to the visiting Los Angeles Clippers on Monday.

Dating to his time with Milwaukee, Jennings has scored 24.0 points per game while shooting 13 for 27 from 3-point range in his last three against New Orleans.

The Pistons, however, continue to scuffle on the defensive end. They allowed offensively challenged Milwaukee to shoot 48.8 percent on the way to reaching 100 points for only the third time in its last 13 games.

The effort hasn't been much better at home, where Detroit has given up 110.8 points per game on 49.1 percent shooting - including 40.2 from beyond the arc - while dropping 9 of 11.

The Pelicans (16-25) have averaged 93.7 points over a 1-9 slump after scoring 103.0 per game during a 15-16 start.

''There's some things I've discussed with our team that they need to be better at, and they understand," coach Monty Williams said. "We're not the type of team that can just put our jersey on and step onto the floor. We've got to go out and play with a high level of energy.''

Davis has played at a high level, averaging 26.4 points and 11.8 rebounds over a five-game stretch before finishing with 16 - his lowest point total in nine games - in a 114-97 home loss to Sacramento on Tuesday.

The 20-year-old forward had one point in a 105-86 victory in his only trip to Detroit on Feb. 11.

Davis has missed the past two meetings due to injury, getting held out of a 111-106 overtime win in New Orleans on Dec. 11 because of a broken hand.

Pelicans starters Ryan Anderson, Jason Smith and Jrue Holiday combined for 63 points in that contest, but all three will be out for this matchup as they nurse injuries.

Greg Monroe had 28 points and 10 rebounds as the Pistons, scoring an NBA-best 51.7 per game in the paint, outscored the Pelicans 56-38 inside. Monroe has averaged 24.0 points and 11.8 rebounds over four straight double-doubles against New Orleans.

Stuckey had 20 points in the first matchup and has scored 23.3 per game on 55.4 percent shooting in his last four overall.

The Pistons have dropped the last three meetings.

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