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Trail Blazers v. Pistons preview: Portland wraps road trip with visit to Motown

01/20/12
  1. Written by: KevinHudson

    The Portland Trail Blazers take on the Detroit Pistons Saturday, 4:30 p.m., with hopes of locking up a .500 record (3-3) for their six-game road trip with a win in the Motor City.

    The game can be seen locally on Comcast SportsNet (Comcast channel 37). 750 AM The Game and NBA Audio League Pass will have the call.

    Portland (9-6) swept last season's series between the teams, 2-0, and has won six consecutive series meetings against the Pistons. With a win on Saturday, the Trail Blazers will have won seven-in-a-row against Detroit, matching the franchise record for consecutive wins against the Pistons (1979-1982).

    LaMarcus Aldridge average a double-double against the Pistons last season with 27.5 ppg and 10.5 rpg.

    Detroit (3-13) has lost 10 of its last 11 games, the most recent a 98-81 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday. Rookie point guard Brandon Knight scored a team-high 22 points in the loss and center Greg Monroe pulled down a game-high 13 rebounds.

    Monroe, a 6-foot-11 center in his second season out of Georgetown University, leads the Pistons in both points and rebounds-per-game this season but has cooled from the floor of late, averaging nine points in his last three games while shooting 11-of-32 from the field.

    Friday against Memphis he was 4-of-12 from the field, dropping his season scoring average to 15.7 ppg, while turning the ball over four times.

    The Pistons as a whole have been loose with the ball lately, turning it over 64 times in their last three games. They coughed up the ball a season-high 25 times against Memphis Friday, leading to 32 points for the Grizzlies.

    "I'm tired of making an excuse. We've just got to find a way to play better," Pistons coach Lawrence Frank told NBA.com after the loss.

    Following the game in Detroit, Portland returns home to kick off its first back-to-back-to-back of the season, facing the Sacramento Kings Monday, 7 p.m., (CSN, 750 AM) and the Memphis Grizzlies Tuesday, 7 p.m., (CSN, 750 AM) at the Rose Garden before heading to the Bay Area to take on the Golden State Warriors Wednesday, 7:30 p.m. (KGW, 750 AM).

    Notes:

    • Portland has won each of the last four contests between the teams played at the Rose Garden. The Trail Blazers have won 10 of the last 13 games between the teams in Detroit, including each of its last three visits to the Motor City.

    • The Trail Blazers scored 102.5 points per game while limiting Detroit to an 89.0 average in two games last season. The Trail Blazers shot 93.5 percent (43-46) from the foul line and 52.1 percent (75-144) from the fi eld vs. the Pistons last season, while Detroit managed a 70.8 percent (34-48) mark from the charity stripe and a 46.8 percent (66-141) clip from the field.

    • The Pistons reached 100 points for the fi rst time in 12 meetings against the Trail Blazers on Feb. 13 in a 105-100 loss last year. The last time Detroit reached the century mark before that was March 1, 2005.

    • LaMarcus Aldridge posted series bests of 27.5 points (20-36 FG) and 10.5 rebounds in two games vs. Detroit last season. Wesley Matthews averaged 17.5 points (10-19 FG, 10-10 FT) in two games against Detroit in 2010-11.

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