A pair of Eastern Conference also-rans get together tonight at The Palace of Auburn Hills, where the Detroit Pistons will entertain the Charlotte Bobcats.
The Pistons have won the first two of four meetings with Charlotte this season and will visit the Bobcats on April 12 at Time Warner Cable Arena. Detroit is 12-5 in the past 17 meetings with Charlotte, which has lost 10 of the 13 encounters at The Palace.
Detroit had a two-game winning streak stopped with last night's 83-71 loss at Chicago in the finale of a four-game road trip (2-2), and lost for the sixth time in the previous eight attempts. Brandon Knight paced the Pistons with 16 points, while Greg Monroe had 14 and 10 rebounds. Tayshaun Prince also scored 14 points for Detroit, which will open a three-game homestand Saturday versus the Bobcats, Magic and Wizards -- all teams from the Southeast Division.
"You can't let teams like this get 6-0, 8-0 runs, especially without Derrick Rose out on the floor," Prince said.
Pistons' guards Rodney Stuckey (hamstring) and Ben Gordon (groin) did not play and are questionable for Saturday. Stuckey leads the team with 16.1 ppg and is averaging 21.1 points in his last 11 games played.
Detroit is 12-12 at The Palace in 2011-12.
Charlotte will kick off a four-game road trip this evening against the Pistons, Raptors, Hawks and Bucks, and is only 3-22 away from home.
The Bobcats recently suffered a 99-88 loss to Denver on Friday, as Gerald Henderson's 21 points led the way. Charlotte, which shot just 36.7 percent, was kept in this game by forcing 25 turnovers. That led to 28 points for the hosts, but the Bobcats went just 17 of 54 from the field over the final two quarters.
Corey Maggette had 19 points and was bothered by an Achilles injury. He could miss tonight's game in order to rest, and has scored in double figures in 21 of his previous 23 games played.
"I just hope he's OK," said Henderson. "Obviously, he's a huge part of what we're doing. Hopefully, it turns out all right for him."
Rookie Kemba Walker may get another chance to start with Maggette injured and managed 11 points in last night's loss. The Bobcats have lost six in a row and 11 of 13 games, and is winless in three straight games on the road.