Wednesday , Feb , 01 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Pistons try to get back on track against Minnesota

(Sports Network) – The Detroit Pistons try to get back on the winning track
this evening when they welcome new head coach Flip Saunders’ former team, the
Minnesota Timberwolves, to the Palace of Auburn Hills.

Saunders, who was fired by the Timberwolves in February 2005 after 9 1/2 years
of service, received a rousing ovation a little over a week ago in his first
game back in Minnesota, as the Pistons rolled to a 107-83 victory.

Detroit, though, had its 11-game winning streak stopped on Tuesday with a
91-84 setback at the hands of the New Jersey Nets at Continental Airlines
Arena.

Chauncey Billups led all scorers with 30 points and Richard Hamilton added 19
points, seven rebounds and six assists for the Pistons, who lost for just the
second time in its last 13 tries and fell to a still incredible 37-6 on the
season.

A loss tonight would give Detroit its first losing streak since dropping three
in a row from March 22-25.

The Pistons, who will hit the road for three games after tonight’s encounter,
are an incredible 20-2 at home this season.

Minnesota, meanwhile, comes in on a winning note after Marcus Banks came back
to haunt his old team by scoring 20 points and dishing out six assists as the
Timberwolves crushed the Boston Celtics, 110-85, on Monday at the Target
Center in the first meeting between the teams since last week’s blockbuster
trade.

Last Thursday Minnesota dealt forward Wally Szczerbiak, center Michael
Olowokandi, forward/center Dwayne Jones and a future first-round draft choice
to Boston for guards Ricky Davis, Banks, center Mark Blount, forward Justin
Reed and two conditional second round draft choices.

Blount contributed 16 points and 10 rebounds and Kevin Garnett netted 15 and
pulled down nine boards for the Timberwolves, who have won two of their last
three games.

Minnesota, which will be starting a four-game road trip tonight, is 7-14 away
from home this season.

The Pistons should have the advantage tonight, as the home team in this series
has won eight of the last 10 matchups. Minnesota has also lost three of its
last four in Detroit.

DET MIN