Pistons open short road trip
(Sports Network) – The Detroit Pistons are caught in a three-game losing
streak and will try to stop the bleeding on their upcoming road trip.
Detroit, which will open a three-game trek on Thursday at New Orleans/Oklahoma
City, has lost three in a row for the first time this season after a five-
game winning streak. The recent losses have trimmed the Pistons’ lead in the
Central Division to just a half game over both Chicago and Cleveland.
The loss of guard Chauncey Billups can easily be attributed to Detroit’s skid,
but this team has so many talented players who can fill the role until he
returns. Billups is expected to miss up to two weeks with a strained right
calf, which he suffered in last week’s loss against Indiana.
In 28 games this season Billups is averaging 18.0 points and 8.1 assists. He
was replaced by Flip Murray in Sunday’s 108-101 loss to the Phoenix Suns.
Murray, who was signed in the offseason, posted 18 points and seven assists
against the Suns and will be in the lineup until Billups is healthy enough to
return, including the three-game trip at the Hornets, Bulls and Sixers.
In other team news, guard Richard Hamilton is averaging 34.7 points over the
last three games and compiled a career-high 51 points in a triple-overtime
loss to the New York Knicks on December 27.
Hamilton, who leads the Pistons with 22.4 points a game, became just the
fifth Piston to score 50 or more points in a contest.