The Detroit Pistons and Phoenix Suns both try to shake off losses in their season openers tonight when the two squads meet in the desert.
The Pistons fell victim, at home, to the James Harden show. Sure, the Houston Rockets get credit for the victory, but Harden's 37 points and 12 assists were enough to give the Rockets a 105-96 win.
"We played at a really poor pace. We lost our rhythm," Pistons head coach Lawrence Frank said after Wednesday's loss. "You go from holding them to a 17- point third quarter, to then the floodgates opening, where we give up a 35- point fourth quarter, that's not a recipe to win."
Any chef would agree, but allowing Houston to shoot 49 percent from the floor didn't help much either.
Brandon Knight, the point guard in his second season, led the Pistons with 15 points, followed by center Greg Monroe, who had 14. Tayshaun Prince, Jason Maxiell and surprisingly Kyle Singler also had double figures for Detroit.
Andre Drummond, the team's first-round pick in this past summer's draft, had a rough welcome to the NBA. He scored two points, grabbed two boards, picked up two fouls and committed two turnovers in almost 13 minutes of action.
The Suns dropped a heart-breaker of their own at home on Wednesday when they fell to the Golden State Warriors, 87-85.
Phoenix did a great job defensively against the Warriors, holding them to 38.4 percent shooting from the floor and 29.4 percent from the 3-point line.
The Suns limited the Warriors' three best players, Stephen Curry, Andrew Bogut and David Lee, all under double-digits scoring, but the Golden State bench outscored Phoenix's reserves, 46-24.
"There were a lot of good things, a lot average things, a lot of things we're going to have to get better at," said Suns' head coach Alvin Gentry. "I thought the effort was good but we just did not shoot the ball well at all."
That's an understatement, especially from the 3-point line.
The Suns went 4-for-21 from beyond the arc, but new point guard Goran Dragic, who is charged with trying to replace future Hall of Famer Steve Nash, had a good outing. Dragic notched 17 points and eight assists on Wednesday, but the team's execution late was problematic.
After the Warriors' Carl Landry put them ahead with 1:22 left, Jared Dudley missed a wide-open 3-pointer. Curry missed two free-throws and with 4.4 seconds left on the clock, and Phoenix didn't even get a shot off.
"Those are shots that we'll make throughout the season, but obviously it hurts now losing that game, because it's just one or two possessions," said Dudley.
The Suns have defeated the Pistons in six of the last seven meetings. This is the first of a six-game road trip for Detroit.