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Reply To: NBA • Friday Service Plays • 11/27/15

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Preview: Detroit At Oklahoma City

When: 8:00 PM ET, Friday, November 27, 2015

Where: Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

The Detroit Pistons are trying to find consistent effort with their young team and will need to bring the “A” game when they visit the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday. The Pistons looked terrible in back-to-back losses before crushing the Miami Heat on Wednesday while the Thunder have won three straight.

Detroit has beaten the likes of Cleveland, Chicago and Atlanta but was run off the floor in a 109-88 loss at Milwaukee on Monday before bouncing back in a big way with a 104-81 pounding of Miami. “I know how our guys felt coming off the Milwaukee game,” Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy told reporters. “If you’ve got a good competitive group, which I think we do, and you lay an egg like we did up there, and get your (butt) kicked, you’re going to want to come back and change it.” Oklahoma City has a pretty competitive group as well and can match just about any team in the league as far as talent on the floor with Kevin Durant (hamstring) back in the lineup. The former MVP is averaging 28.5 points on 21-of-31 shooting in two games since returning from a six-game absence.

TV: 8 p.m. ET, FSN Detroit, FSN Oklahoma

ABOUT THE PISTONS (8-7): The most consistent piece for Detroit has been center Andre Drummond, who went for 18 points and 20 rebounds on Wednesday for his 14th double-double in 15 games while also showing improved defense with a season-high five blocks. “We had a talk (Tuesday) at practice about me not challenging shots, so (Wednesday) I made it a job of mine to go after everything and knowing that my teammates will have my back if they throw the lob,” Drummond told reporters. The 22-year-old has grabbed 20 or more rebounds four times already in 2015-16.

ABOUT THE THUNDER (10-6): Durant is 8-of-14 from 3-point range since his return and buried a couple of key 3-pointers late in Wednesday’s 110-99 triumph over Brooklyn. “I’ve been working a lot on my shot, trying to make it quicker, being disciplined with my mechanics and fundamentals,” Durant told reporters. “My teammates do a great job of screening for me and finding me in transition. It’s on me to knock them down.” Westbrook is taking advantage of some of the open space created by Durant’s return and is 15-of-26 from the field in the last two games.


1. Pistons PG Reggie Jackson is making his first trip back to Oklahoma City since being traded by the Thunder last season.

2. Thunder G Dion Waiters is averaging 14.5 points over the last four games.

3. Detroit won 96-89 at Oklahoma City last season (Nov. 14, 2014) behind nine points, 15 rebounds and a pair of blocks from Drummond.

PREDICTION: Thunder 109, Pistons 98