Nuggets seek better results on trip, visit Pistons
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Denver Nuggets didn't get their road trip off to a good start and will seek success Saturday against the Detroit Pistons.
The Nuggets opened the trip with Friday's 117-90 loss to Carmelo Anthony and the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden. Anthony scored 31 points against his old team and Ty Lawson led the visitors with 24 points. Lawson was impressed with New York's energy and all-around game.
"I thought we were playing against the Spurs," Lawson said. "They know they pass to one side, kick, kick, and it opens 3s. It was just a tough night for us."
The game was knotted at 44-44, but the Knicks pulled away and grabbed a 62-48 lead on Anthony's deep shot from the corner.
Wilson Chandler and Randy Foye scored 17 and 13 points, respectively, for the Nuggets, who had won two straight and four of six games.
Denver has lost three of its last four road games and fell to 10-13 as the visitor this season. The Nuggets, who will also visit Indiana and Minnesota, have allowed 100 or more points in each of the past six games and are giving up 103.5 ppg this season.
The Nuggets hope their defense can pick it up against a Detroit squad that recorded a 111-95 victory versus the Brooklyn Nets Friday night in the opener of a five-game homestand.
The Pistons ended a two-game skid and won for the third time in five tries, as Brandon Jennings led the way with 26 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists. The near triple-double came with a game-high eight turnovers.
Josh Smith scored 23 points, grabbed eight boards and handed out seven assists before leaving the game with an ankle injury. Smith, who is averaging 15.8 points and 6.9 boards, is questionable versus the Nuggets.
Andre Drummond had a monster game on the boards with a career-best 22 and also added 16 points, while Kyle Singler and Rodney Stuckey netted 16 and 14 points, respectively, in Detroit's third straight win at The Palace.
"We've been talking about trying to use him wisely," Pistons head coach Maurice Cheeks said of Drummond. "He's been very energetic. Obviously getting 22 rebounds and running the floor, getting up and down the floor and blocking a few more shots."
Detroit made 51.2 percent for the game and sank 9-of-17 3-pointers.
Meanwhile, Drummond is first in the Eastern Conference and second in the NBA with 37 double-doubles this season. He is first in NBA history for the highest average of rebounds per game among players 20 years or younger (13.0 rpg). Drummond matched Greg Monroe's double-double mark of 37 set last season.
Despite Detroit's talented bigs in Drummond and Monroe, the team is still near the bottom in total defense, allowing 102.7 ppg. Opponents are shooting 46.6 percent against the Pistons this season, the second-worst mark in the NBA.
The Pistons are 10-15 as the host and will also entertain San Antonio, Cleveland and Charlotte on this residency. They lost both meetings with Denver a season ago and are mired in a six-game slide in this series.
Denver has won two in a row at the Pistons following a 14-game slide as the guest. It is 11-27 all-time at Detroit. Lawson averaged 20.5 points and 8.0 assists against Detroit in 2012-13.
02/08 09:47:43 ET