Pistons at Mavericks Game Preview - January 26, 2014
Regular Season Game #44
After a frustrating end to a road trip, the Dallas Mavericks will try to bounce back by adding to their recent dominance over the slumping Detroit Pistons.
The Mavericks will seek a ninth win in the last 10 matchups and a sixth straight home victory in the series Sunday night.
Dallas (25-20) dropped the final two of its three consecutive road games and couldn't complete a late rally in Friday's 107-106 defeat to Brooklyn. The Mavericks cut an 11-point deficit with 4 1/2 minutes left to two with seven seconds to go but would get no closer in its fourth loss in six games.
Vince Carter had a team-best 19 points after averaging 7.6 on 31.7 percent shooting in his previous five games. Dirk Nowitzki had 18 points despite missing 10 of 15 shots in his return from a night off in a 93-85 loss to Toronto on Wednesday.
The Mavericks have committed a combined 36 turnovers in the last two games after having eight in each of their previous two contests.
"We're just making bad decisions, and we've got to stop it," coach Rick Carlisle said. "When you give up 23 points off turnovers in a one-possession game, it's another story teller of the reason we lost."
Detroit (17-26) is one of the leaders in forcing turnovers at 16.4 per game, just behind the Mavericks' 16.5. The Pistons forced 21 turnovers in Friday's 103-101 loss to New Orleans.
Detroit blew a 10-point lead in the final 5:35 and didn't call a timeout after the Pelicans' Eric Gordon hit the winning shot with 1.9 seconds to go. Brandon Jennings missed a 50-foot shot just before the buzzer and couldn't convert a potential go-ahead 3-pointer with 21 seconds remaining.
"I tried to call a timeout," coach Maurice Cheeks said. "That timeout is on me."
Jennings finished with a team-best 28 points after scoring 30 in a 104-101 defeat to Milwaukee on Wednesday. Detroit had a double-digit lead late in the third quarter of that game.
"We just make poor decisions down the stretch of the game sometimes and we have to get better at it," said Andre Drummond, who had 21 points and a career-high 20 rebounds Friday. "Nip that in the bud and try to finish games up."
Jennings, the Pistons' leading scorer (16.6 ppg), was held without a point for the second time in his career in Monday's 112-103 defeat to the Los Angeles Clippers, the start of the team's three-game skid.
Jennings scored a combined 12 points on 5-of-18 shooting in his last two matchups with Dallas - both while with Milwaukee last season - after averaging 19.8 in his first four.
Nowitzki had 12 points in his only game against the Pistons last season, a 102-99 road win March 8, after averaging 26.7 in his prior 16 meetings. He sat out a 92-77 home victory on Dec. 1, 2012, while recovering from knee surgery.
The Mavericks have won three in a row over Detroit and haven't suffered a home loss in the series since Dec. 7, 2006.