Underperforming Pistons, Spurs aiming for a turnaround

The Detroit Pistons don't have the worst record in the NBA, but it would be hard to find a more frustrated team.

The Pistons made the playoffs last season but find themselves seven games below .500 heading into their home game against San Antonio on Sunday.

Detroit dropped back-to-back games to rebuilding Charlotte this week, including a 110-107 loss at Little Caesars Arena on Friday.

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"Losing obviously isn't any fun," swingman Luke Kennard told NBA.com. "You can just tell by the atmosphere in the locker room. ... We've got to figure something out. I thought we started off bad defensively. We had 37 points in the first quarter and we were still losing. We've got to start working harder, communicating better on defense. Just everybody -- we've got to be more connected."

Charlotte made half of its 38 3-point attempts and erased an eight-point, fourth-quarter deficit. The Pistons committed three crucial turnovers down the stretch and Kennard missed a potential tying 3-pointer in the closing seconds.

"I just hope we realize that the difference between winning and losing is very marginal," forward Blake Griffin said to NBA.com. "It can be a play here, a play there, communication here. Right now, we haven't shown that we're willing to do the things to win. It's real light in here after a win, so to me it seems like we love the victory but we don't like the fight. And you're not going to win games like that."

The Spurs haven't had many reasons to smile this season. either, but Friday night's game was an exception. They ended the Los Angeles Clippers' seven-game winning streak, 107-97. San Antonio is 7-13 after 20 games.

"Everybody, right down the line, everybody was aggressive, picking up the way we need to," San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said. "We just need to do it more often and get more consistent."

Point guard Derrick White and forward LaMarcus Aldridge led a balanced attack with 17 points apiece.

White has been utilized as the starting point guard the past four games, forcing Dejounte Murray into a bench role. Murray, who scored four points on 2-for-8 shooting, missed all of last season with a knee injury.

"I am not worrying about that," Murray said to the San Antonio Express-News about getting removed from the starting lineup. "Like I said, I am just down here to be a great teammate and try to compete on both ends of the floor and try my hardest to continue to develop."

The Spurs are hopeful Murray can settle in as a leader on the second unit.

"He's had a lot of pressure and for him to have the year he had last year added pressure on to it," fellow guard Patty Mills said to the Express-News. "It's tough for (any) young person. But it's one of those things you got to grind it out, just like he did last year (when he was rehabbing) and find ways to stay positive and maybe (have) little goals that can help him get through it."

San Antonio swept the two-game series last season.

--Field Level Media

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