The Detroit Pistons may once again be without two starters on Sunday when they close out a five-game road trip against the Sacramento Kings.
Antonio McDyess (strained left shoulder) and Chauncey Billups (right hip pointer and sore left knee) remain day-to-day after being sidelined for Detroit's last two games. The Pistons (6-3) beat the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday without them, but lost 103-91 to the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday.
Billups leads the Pistons with 7.0 assists per game, and his 17.7 scoring average ranks second on the team during the young season. McDyess is averaging a team-high 7.4 rebounds to go along with his 9.1 scoring average.
The Pistons, who have alternated between wins and losses in the first four games of their road trip, struggled offensively against the Lakers. Playing their third game in four nights, they committed 17 turnovers which led to 22 points for Los Angeles.
"Turnovers lead to a lot of their fast break opportunities," Detroit coach Flip Saunders said. "We ran out of gas, ran out of bodies. Our guys tried hard, but you would like to get a better whistle at times, especially in the fourth, as hard as our guys played."
Tayshaun Prince and Richard Hamilton each had 16 points for the Pistons, the absence of McDyess and Billups showed on a night where three different Detroit players picked up at least four fouls.
"It's tough to be shorthanded and plus we were in foul trouble tonight, so that really hurt us," said Flip Murray, who had 15 points, six rebounds and six assists but shot only 6-for-18 from the field in his second straight start in place of Billups.
The Pistons and Kings (3-6) split two meetings last season, with each winning at home. Detroit has won four of the last five in the series after losing 11 of the previous 12 matchups.
Sacramento is coming off a 123-118 double-overtime win over the New York Knicks on Friday. Kevin Martin scored a career-high 43 points while Ron Artest added 28 points and eight rebounds to help the Kings avoid a three-game losing streak.
"It's always good to do it and get the win, last year I got 40 and we lost (to Washington)," said Martin, who increased his season scoring average to 28.2.
The Kings had a nine-point lead entering the fourth quarter, but the Knicks rallied against one of the league's worst defenses to force the two extra sessions.
"It was a good win for a team that in the past has had trouble winning close games, but we've got to learn from it because we made mistakes down the stretch that we have to get better from," Kings coach Reggie Theus said.
Artest was playing in his second game after being suspended for the first seven games of 2007-08. He had 17 points in Sacramento's 108-103 loss at Minnesota on Wednesday.
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