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Reply To: NBA • Wednesday Service Plays • 12/2/15

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Preview: Phoenix At Detroit

When: 7:30 PM ET, Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Where: The Palace of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills, Michigan

The NBA season is nearly one-fourth over and the Detroit Pistons are a .500 squad. Detroit looks to bump back above the break-even mark Wednesday when it hosts the Phoenix Suns, who have lost five of their last six games.

The 9-9 mark rates as improvement for the Pistons, who started 5-23 last season in Stan Van Gundy’s first season as coach. “We’ll take .500 right now, but we think we’re a better team,” point guard Reggie Jackson told reporters. “We’ve got a long way to go. We’ve still got to prove to ourselves we’re better than this. We’ve just got to shore up some things offensively.” The Suns lost 94-91 to the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday in a contest in which they blew a nine-point lead in the fourth quarter. “We just stopped getting stops,” guard Brandon Knight said afterward, “and they executed down the stretch, got the stops they wanted and they played better to close the game.”

TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, FSN Arizona (Phoenix), FSN Detroit

ABOUT THE SUNS (8-10): Knight had 26 points against the Nets for his third 20-point outing in four games and he is averaging 23 points during the stretch. But his solid performance against Brooklyn was tarnished when he had the ball deflected away from him in the final seconds and Phoenix was unable to get off a tying 3-point attempt. The Suns could use an improvement in performance from forward Markieff Morris, who is averaging just eight points on 14-of-45 shooting over the past four games.

ABOUT THE PISTONS (9-9): Forward Marcus Morris vented about disrespect prior to an early-November meeting between the teams in Phoenix and then produced one of his top outings of the season. Morris was vehemently upset when the Suns traded him to Detroit in the summer and separated him from twin brother Markieff and the animosity has remained. Marcus Morris scored 20 points in a 100-92 victory over Phoenix, which still rates as his second-highest scoring output of the campaign.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. Jackson scored 14 of his 23 points in the final quarter when the Pistons defeated the Suns on Nov. 6.

2. Phoenix C Tyson Chandler (hamstring) has missed two straight games and is questionable for Wednesday’s contest.

3. Detroit C Andre Drummond had 24 points and 13 rebounds in Monday’s victory over Houston but was a dreadful 4-of-18 from the free-throw line.

PREDICTION: Pistons 104, Suns 97