Preview: Pistons visit Clippers
The Los Angeles Clippers have experienced lots of rest since their 11-game winning streak ended and attempt to start a new stretch of victories when they host the Detroit Pistons on Saturday. Los Angeles hasn’t played since losing to the Denver Nuggets on Monday, halting a streak that tied for second-longest in franchise history. Detroit has lost 12 consecutive road games after suffering a 98-92 loss to the Phoenix Suns on Friday.
The Pistons got center Andre Drummond back from a neck injury and he was a bright spot with 13 points and 16 rebounds in the loss to Phoenix. Detroit was a porous 10-of-26 from the free-throw line while losing its fourth straight game. Los Angeles will get guard Jamal Crawford (calf) and Darren Collison (stomach virus) back from their absences. Crawford has missed eight of the last nine games while Collison missed the past two for the Clippers, who have a 1 1/2-game lead over the Houston Rockets for the third spot in the Western Conference.
TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, FSN Detroit, Prime Ticket (Los Angeles)
ABOUT THE PISTONS (25-43): The poor free-throw shooting sabotaged Detroit in the loss to Phoenix and the Pistons also committed 19 turnovers. Forward Josh Smith missed all eight of his free-throw attempts and is just 6-of-25 from the line over the last six games. Drummond was cleared to play early in the day Friday after missing the previous game with his injury. He was hurt in a game against Indiana on March 14 when the body of Pacers center Roy Hibbert crashed into his head during a scramble for a loose ball.
ABOUT THE CLIPPERS (48-21): Point guard Chris Paul is four assists away from joining Magic Johnson, John Stockton and Isiah Thomas as the only NBA players to reach 6,000 for a career prior to turning 29 years old. Paul scored 29 points against the Nuggets to reach the 20-point mark for only the second time in the last 15 contests. Power forward Blake Griffin has an impressive streak of 27 consecutive 20-point games as he continues to play superb basketball. Griffin has 13 double-doubles during the stretch.
1. Los Angeles has won seven of the past eight meetings, including a 112-103 road win on Jan. 20.
2. Pistons G Rodney Stuckey is averaging 20 points over the last three games after pouring in 23 against Phoenix.
3. Clippers G J.J. Redick (back) returned to practice but isn’t close to suiting up. He last played on Feb. 3.