Hornets Look to End Skid Against Sharp-Shooting Pistons

by Sam Perley

The Charlotte Hornets have had the Detroit Pistons’ number lately and they’ll try and make it seven straight wins over their Central Division foes when the two teams square off tonight at 7 PM EST at Spectrum Center.

Charlotte is on a four-game losing streak after dropping a heartbreaker in the final seconds to the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday night. The Hornets’ offense knocked down a welcoming 16-of-37 three-point attempts (seven alone by Terry Rozier), but a 26-5 second-half Memphis run and -10 rebounding differential for the hosts were ultimately game-deciding factors.

“I liked our offense last night,” said Head Coach James Borrego after Thursday’s practice. “117 points are plenty enough [to win]. It’s just the other end of the floor we’ve got to tighten up and keep getting better at.” Charlotte’s opponents have shot at least 53.0% from the field in four of the last five games.

Detroit enters tonight’s game with a 4-8 record, having lost six of its last eight outings. C Andre Drummond is averaging 19.9 PPG – 16.2 of which are coming in the paint, the second-highest mark in the league – to go along with an NBA-leading 16.8 RPG (4.8 OREB) and 2.2 BPG. Third-year G Luke Kennard is putting up 18.7 PPG (39.4% from 3P) and 4.8 APG over his last nine games (all starts), while filling in for the injured Reggie Jackson.

Six-time All-Star F Blake Griffin has played just one game this season (missed most recent) as he continues to recover from offseason knee surgery. Derrick Rose (18.7 PPG) has also been in and out of the lineup with a hamstring issue. The Pistons are draining an NBA-leading 40.2% of their three-point attempts, although are surrendering the third-highest such percentage (37.8%), so look for the perimeter to play a major role on both sides in this one.

Game Notes: G Reggie Jackson (lower back stress reaction) and G Khyri Thomas (right foot surgery) will not play for Detroit… Hornets G/F Dwayne Bacon (right knee soreness) is probable to play… Charlotte has won six straight meetings with the Pistons and four straight at home.


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