NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, December 15th (All times Eastern)
Portland Trail Blazers (20-4) at Detroit Pistons (11-13), 6 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Portland Trail Blazers hope to have the hot hand again when they resume a four-game road trip Sunday against the Detroit Pistons at The Palace of Auburn Hills.
The Blazers opened the sojourn with Saturday's 139-105 beating of the Philadelphia 76ers and knocked down a franchise-record 21 3-pointers (21- of-37). Former Sixer Dorell Wright hit all five of his 3-point attempts en route to 15 points and both Damian Lillard and Wesley Matthews sank four.
Lillard and Matthews finished with 16 and 14 points, respectively, and LaMarcus Aldridge added a team-high 20 points to go along with 16 rebounds. Nicolas Batum ended with 17 points for the Blazers, who made 55.9 percent of their shots and improved to 10-2 away from home.
"They were all open good looks. It shows how well we're moving the ball right now," said Lillard.
Portland has won three straight and improved to 20-4 on the season. It is the first team in the competitive Western Conference to post 20 victories. The Blazers are also first in the NBA with 107.8 points per game and Houston is right behind at 107.7 ppg. The Rockets are in Sacramento Sunday.
The Blazers, winners of three straight on the road, still have to visit Cleveland and Minnesota on the trek. They will face a Pistons' defense that is allowing opponents to shoot 37.8 percent from beyond the arc.
Detroit ended a three-game losing streak its last time out, a 103-99 triumph versus the Brooklyn Nets on Friday at The Palace.
Greg Monroe finished with 22 points and 11 rebounds and Andre Drummond added 22 points and 13 boards. Drummond leads the NBA in field goal percentage (62.9) and is tops in the East with 17 double-doubles. He also ranks fourth in the NBA in rebounding, averaging 12.7 boards per game.
"I work hard at it every day and the results are going to show up sooner than later. Tonight was an example of the hard work I put into it," said Drummond.
Rodney Stuckey and Kyle Singler scored 17 and 16 points, respectively, off the bench for the Pistons, who won for the fifth time in eight tries and improved to 6-7 as the host this season. The Pistons, who once led by 21 points at 65-44, scored a season-high 38 second-quarter points behind 16 from Drummond.
Brooklyn made a run at the end for a 101-99 score, but Detroit pulled away to snap a two-game home losing streak. The Pistons outscored Brooklyn, 60-38, in the paint.
After hosting the Trail Blazers Detroit will play two straight and five of seven games on the road.
Portland handed the Pistons a 109-103 loss in the Rose City on Nov. 11 and has prevailed in eight of the last 10 matchups between the teams. The Blazers are 10-5 in the last 15 trips to The Palace.
12/15 10:31:04 ET