NBA

Pistons guard against Pelicans' Davis having field day again

Anthony Davis had a career day the last time he visited The Palace of Auburn Hills. Considering how the Detroit Pistons have played defense lately, Davis might approach those numbers once again on Wednesday.

The New Orleans big man overwhelmed Detroit with a career-high and franchise-record 59 points and 20 rebounds in a 111-106 Pelicans victory last February.

Davis knocked down 24 of 34 shots from the field and 9 of 10 free throws while setting the record for the most points scored at the arena, which opened in 1988 and will close after this season.

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If Davis isn't too worn out from playing the second game of a back-to-back, he could have a field day against a Detroit defense that has struggled to get stops while losing three straight.

Davis was held to 18 points on 4-of-18 shooting from the floor at Toronto as the Pelicans dropped a 108-106 overtime decision to the Raptors on Tuesday night.

The Pistons have given up an average of 112.7 points during their losing streak, including a 113-109 loss at Boston on Monday night.

Celtics star guard Isaiah Thomas poured in 41 points, offsetting a 28-point, 22-rebound performance by Detroit center Andre Drummond.

Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy blamed himself for the loss.

"I didn't do a very good job in the fourth quarter," he said. "I should have come up with something better than what we were doing. I should have had two guys on him or something. I didn't do a good job; that one is on me. Fourth quarter is on me."

Detroit (21-27) also has to figure out its perimeter woes in order to end its skid. The Pistons made just 3 of 27 3-point attempts against the Celtics.

"We kept fighting all game," forward Tobias Harris said. "Obviously, there were no moral victories, but we know as a team we've got to shoot better.

"It was one of those nights for us that we just couldn't get shots to fall. I thought we did a great job of holding our composure and continuing to keep battling. We just got to stay strong and stay positive and hopefully, sooner or later, we are going to have a full-package game."

The Pistons have been unable to do that against the Pelicans in recent years. New Orleans has won eight straight in the series, sweeping Detroit four straight seasons. The Pistons' last victory over the Pelicans was Feb. 4, 2012, when they eked out an 89-87 win.

The Pelicans began a stretch on Tuesday where they will play nine of their next 12 games on the road. They are 6-16 on the road with the loss at Toronto.

New Orleans should have shooting guard Tyreke Evans back in action. He was rested in the first game of the back-to-back.

The Pelicans (19-30) are clinging to playoff hopes despite a woeful start.

"We proved we can play with anybody if we play the right way," Davis told the New Orleans Times-Picayune. "We just dug ourselves a hole and we've gotta come out and play desperate each and every game. ... We're battling for the eighth spot and a lot of other teams are battling as well. We've gotta do a little bit more."