Detroit Pistons (12-33) vs. New Orleans Pelicans (25-17)
When: 7 p.m. Friday.
Where: Little Caesars Arena in Detroit.
TV: Bally Sports Detroit.
Radio: WXYT-FM (97.1; Pistons radio affiliates).
Odds: Pelicans by 5½.
Game notes: If you had tonight’s game circled on the calendar as a matchup of potentially great — albeit differently built — big men, you might be a bit disappointed. The Pelicans will be without star center Zion Williamson for the sixth straight game as he deals with a hamstring strain. The Pistons, meanwhile, will be without rookie Jalen Duren for the fourth straight game due to soreness in his right ankle. We may not see much of Isaiah Stewart, either; the third-year player has missed the Pistons’ past two games with left shoulder soreness and was listed as questionable on Thursday’s injury report.
Brandon Ingram, the Pels’ third-leading scorer, is also out, and Herb Jones, who’s averaging 10 points a game with a 2.6% steal percentage that’s seventh in the league, is listed as questionable, dimming the star power at LCA noticeably. But New Orleans still brings CJ McCollum to town; the former Blazers guard is averaging 21.3 points, 5.8 assists and 4.8 rebounds a game in his first full season in New Orleans after coming over from Portland at last season’s trade deadline. So at least second-year coach Willie Green, who starred at Detroit Cooley in high school and then Detroit Mercy in college, will have some options.
The Pistons should have Bojan Bogdanovic, Killian Hayes and Jaden Ivey available. Ivey has been enjoying the calendar’s flip to 2023: In six January games, he’s averaging 15 points, five assists and four rebounds over 30 minutes a game. That includes an 18-point, eight-assist game Wednesday against the Timberwolves in which he played more than 40 minutes while hitting seven of 11 shots from the field.
Even with a Saturday night off, the Pistons will have a shorter-than-normal turnaround for their next game, with a 1 p.m. Sunday tip time against the Knicks before heading to Paris — yes, France — to take on the Bulls on Thursday. The Pelicans, however, get the whole weekend off before wrapping up their five-game road trip with a Monday-afternoon tipoff against the Cavaliers in Cleveland.
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This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Pistons beaten by the Pelicans, 116-110: Game thread recap