Allen Iverson has yet to give the Detroit Pistons a boost on offense. The Sacramento Kings, meanwhile, were only beginning to get the spark they needed from Kevin Martin.
Struggling despite the acquisition of Iverson, the Pistons look to get back on track Tuesday night in a matchup with a Kings team that may have to make do without its top scorer.
Detroit (4-2) picked up Iverson last week in a trade with Denver, but has been held under 100 points while losing each of its first two games with the former league MVP. Without Iverson, the Pistons won their first four games and averaged 104.5 points.
Iverson finished with 10 points, four assists and four turnovers in his first home game with Detroit, as the Pistons lost 88-76 to Boston on Sunday night. The night wasn't all bad, though, for Iverson, who was welcomed to Detroit with a standing ovation from the fans.
"That's all you want when you get traded," said Iverson, who has been dealt twice in two years. "You want to get that initial feeling of how they embrace and accept you."
After scoring fewer than 20 points in three games of the Kings' season-opening 0-4 road trip, Martin has bounced back to average 28.7 points during the current three-game winning streak - all at home - for Sacramento (3-4).
"We definitely knew we were better than we showed and people thought after the way we opened the season," Sacramento forward John Salmons said. "It was a tough road trip, everyone had to do a little soul searching. It's a process right now, we're growing, we're learning."
Martin was enjoying perhaps his finest game of the season in Sunday night's 115-98 win over Golden State, but injured his left ankle with 2:39 remaining in the third quarter and did not return. Though Martin, who scored 27 points, had an MRI exam that turned up negative, his status is day-to-day.
DeMarcus Nelson would likely start for Martin, and the Kings could also need players such as backup center Spencer Hawes to continue emerging. Hawes is averaging 12.9 points and 8.4 rebounds this season, and has made 9 of 12 3-point attempts.
Detroit, meanwhile, is lacking a big man that can provide shooting touch off the bench. That's what they had in Antonio McDyess, who was part of the Iverson trade.
McDyess, though, was waived Monday without having appeared in a game for the Nuggets, and the Pistons desperately need the power forward back.
Iverson could also use some help in the backcourt. Richard Hamilton was 0-for-8 from the floor against the Celtics, scoring three points on free throws.
Hamilton averaged 20.0 points and shot 53.6 percent in two games against Sacramento last season, but the Kings won both contests.
Detroit is seeking to avoid its first three-game losing streak since Jan. 18-21, a skid which began with a 100-93 home loss to Sacramento.
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