Sports

Nuggets, Pistons cross paths in Detroit

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Denver Nuggets will try to halt a four-game losing streak Friday night when they take on the Detroit Pistons at The Palace of Auburn Hills.

Denver has lost 11 of its last 12 and three straight on the road. The Nuggets will close this three-game road trip Friday, head home on Monday, then go back on the road for three straight.

On Wednesday, the Nuggets fell to the Boston Celtics, 104-100.

Ty Lawson led the Nuggets with 23 points and eight assists, Arron Afflalo scored 18, and Kenneth Faried contributed 17 points and 11 boards. Jusuf Nurkic had 14 in the loss.

The Celtics took a 10-point lead at the half. Denver trailed for much of the game but took a late and brief lead before ultimately falling.

Boston opened the fourth quarter with five points in the opening minute to extend its lead back to 10, but Denver soon scored on six straight trips down the floor to pull within 92-90.

With three minutes to play, Faried's bucket gave the Nuggets their first lead since the first half. Brandon Bass responded with a jumper at the other end, and Denver would not lead again.

On back-to-back possessions with less than 30 seconds remaining, the Nuggets committed turnovers that sealed the game. Marcus Smart's missed free throws with 15 seconds left gave them life, but Lawson and Afflalo each missed 3- pointers in the closing seconds.

"I liked our effort a lot better in the second half," said Nuggets coach Brian Shaw. "We finally defended in the third and fourth quarters."

The Pistons had a two-game winning streak snapped on Wednesday with a 114-109 road loss to the Indiana Pacers. Detroit has won two in a row at The Palace and will host Minnesota on Sunday.

Andre Drummond had 18 points and 16 rebounds to lead the Pistons on Wednesday, including a tip-in that got them within three with 20.8 seconds remaining. But Indiana made four of its six foul shots down the stretch and Detroit didn't score again until Greg Monroe's bucket at the buzzer.

Monroe added 16 points and Jodie Meeks and Caron Butler each scored 13 for the Pistons.

Detroit guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope left the game after 3:29 with a sore right Achilles and didn't return, saying he sat out as a precaution.

"I feel sore," he said. "I overstretched it in our last game. It's just really sore right now and I can't push off of it. I just wanted to be on the safe side and decided to sit the rest of this game out."

The Nuggets have won the last two games in the series and two of the last three in Motown.