Lawrence Frank has proceeded with care where the inevitable pairing of Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond is concerned. This, by all available evidence, is to the great consternation of Pistons fans.

Even in Houston in Saturday’s loss to the Rockets, two minutes into the game a leather-lunged fan seated a few dozen rows behind Detroit’s bench yelled for Frank to put Drummond in the game.

Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder opened a four-game stretch against Central Division opponents with a comeback victory.

There may not be a need for heroics in the next one.

Durant and the Thunder have won six straight against the visiting Detroit Pistons, who will likely be hard-pressed to avoid their worst start in 33 years Friday night.

Oklahoma City (3-2) trailed by six heading into the fourth quarter Thursday before rallying for a 97-91 victory at Chicago. Durant scored eight of his season-high 24 points in the fourth.

OKLAHOMA CITY – Back in 1976 for George Blaha’s first road trip as Pistons broadcaster, he walked into the team hotel lobby and ran into Bob Lanier and Chris Ford, faces of the franchise. Welcome to the team, they told him, you’re one of us.

“Both went on to become NBA head coaches and Bob a very deserving Hall of Famer,” Blaha said. “From that day forward, I was a players’ guy.”