To avoid matching their season-high with a fourth straight loss, the Detroit Pistons have to solve a team that has dominated them over the past four years. The Pistons look to avoid their ninth consecutive loss to Memphis when they host the Grizzlies on Sunday. Memphis, which is quickly fading from the Western Conference playoff picture, looks to get back on track after a 111-108 loss at Denver on Friday.
The Pistons are still on the right side of the playoff bubble in the weaker Eastern Conference, but they have lost four straight at home, squandering fourth-quarter leads in three of them. If Detroit is going to make a move it could start by taking advantage of a four-game stretch in which it plays only one team with a winning record. The Grizzlies won 111-108 in overtime in the first meeting this season Nov. 1 in Memphis.
TV: 1 p.m. ET, SportSouth (Memphis), FSN Detroit
ABOUT THE GRIZZLIES (14-18): Memphis was a playoff contender, at the least, before losing center Marc Gasol in late November, but the Grizzlies have beaten only one team with a winning record in the big man's absence. They still have a strong post player in Zach Randolph (17.1 points, 10.3 rebounds), who has 20 double-doubles this season including 17 in his last 23 games, but miss Gasol's defense inside. Point guard Mike Conley (17.3 points, 6.3 assists) has taken on a larger scoring role and has hit double digits in 28 of 30 games.
ABOUT THE PISTONS (14-19): The Pistons had a much-needed five-day layoff after losing both ends of a home-and-home set with Washington and need to get back on track after losing five of six and nine of 13. Despite its recent struggles against Memphis, Detroit should match up well with the Grizzlies with its strong post play. Forwards Josh Smith (15.1 points, 6.5 rebounds) and Greg Monroe (14.5 points, 8.9 rebounds) and center Andre Drummond (12.9 points, 12.4 rebounds) give the Pistons a big edge inside, especially with Gasol sidelined.
1. The Pistons lead the league in points in the paint (51.8 per game) and offensive rebounding (14.5 per game).
2. The Grizzlies are 2-12 when allowing 100 or more points.
3. Pistons G Rodney Stuckey (14 points) is expected to miss his second straight game with a sore shoulder.
PREDICTION: Pistons 96, Grizzlies 94