Detroit has won three straight games against top teams, all of which were missing key players. The Pistons have done it without a premiere contributor of their own, Allen Iverson.
Looking much more cohesive without their All-Star guard, the Pistons try to win consecutive games at home for the first time in two months when they face the lowly Golden State Warriors on Friday night.
Detroit (30-29) has beaten Orlando, Boston and Denver since Iverson aggravated a back injury in a loss to New Orleans on Feb. 25. The Pistons opened the season 4-0 before Iverson joined them in a trade with the Nuggets, but are 22-28 with him in starting lineup and had lost seven in a row prior to this three-game win streak.
Iverson is expected to miss at least two weeks.
Detroit has appeared in three straight Eastern Conference finals, but has been unable to find that form this season since trading Chauncey Billups for Iverson on Nov. 3.
"It's just sad to see we're 30-29," the Pistons' Richard Hamilton said.
As disappointing as Detroit has been, it became the first team in the NBA to beat all of the division leaders with Sunday's 105-95 victory over the Celtics.
The Pistons, though, didn't have to deal with Boston's Kevin Garnett, who missed the game with a strained knee. Two days earlier, Detroit won 93-85 against a Magic team that's without starting point guard Jameer Nelson (shoulder), and there was no Carmelo Anthony (suspension) in the post to contend with in a 100-95 victory over the Nuggets on Tuesday night.
Still, they were quality wins for a Pistons team that hasn't won two in a row at The Palace since a five-game run from Dec. 23-Jan. 2. Detroit had lost 10 of 12 there before beating Denver.
The Pistons relied on a balanced attack against the Nuggets, as Tayshaun Prince had 23 points to lead five Pistons who scored at least 16.
Detroit had five players reach double figures in scoring in a 107-102 win over Golden State on Nov. 13, the teams' first meeting of the season.
Hamilton led the Pistons with 24 points in that matchup. The veteran swingman had 21 versus Denver, and is averaging 25.3 in his last four games.
Hamilton, though, has been held to a combined 19 points in his last two home games against Golden State (21-40). He'll likely be matched up at times with Stephen Jackson, who leads the Warriors with 21.1 points and 6.4 assists a contest.
Jackson had 15 points, nine assists and five rebounds in this season's first matchup with Detroit. He had 18 points in Golden State's 110-88 loss to Chicago on Wednesday night after averaging 26.9 in his previous 11 games.
Warriors guard Jamal Crawford had 11 points for the second straight game, shooting 26.1 percent (6-for-23) during that span. He had topped 20 points in three of his previous four contests.
With Monta Ellis out (ankle), 2007 first-round pick Marco Belinelli has started alongside Crawford in the backcourt the past five games. Belinelli scored a combined 11 points in the first three games, but averaged 11.5 while going 5-for-9 from 3-point range over his last two contests.
Copyright 2008 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited