Pistons host Nets in bid for 1st win

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Detroit Pistons will try and crack the win column Saturday when they play their home opener against the Brooklyn Nets at The Palace at Auburn Hills.

The Pistons opened their season with back-to-back losses in Minnesota and Denver. They play their next four in the comfy confines of The Palace.

Both setbacks were winnable games, but the Pistons couldn't get it done.

On Wednesday, Detroit fell, 89-79 at Denver, then dropped a tough one to the Timberwolves, 97-91. That game particularly frustrated new head coach Stan Van Gundy.

"You can get blown out in games. Teams can go on runs. You're missing shots, they're knocking down shots. That can happen," he told the team's website. "But to get outcompeted and melting down and losing it and lose concentration and get discouraged, that has absolutely nothing to do with who's out there. That's just a matter of whether or not you want to compete."

The Pistons began the season with Greg Monroe serving a suspension for driving while visibly impaired. He should be back on Saturday night, but he may come off the bench.

Against the Wolves, Caron Butler tallied 24 points and eight rebounds off the bench to lead the Pistons. D.J. Augustin provided 20 points and six assists, while Andre Drummond put up 11 points and 12 boards in defeat.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope also managed 11 points, followed by 10 from Josh Smith.

After Butler's triple tied the game at 88-88 with 1:43 left in the fourth, Minnesota outscored Detroit 9-3 the rest of the way.

"We just absolutely melted down," Van Gundy said.

The Nets began the 2014-15 campaign under new head coach Lionel Hollins and got blown out in Boston, 121-105, at the hands of the Celtics.

Mirza Teletovic shot 8-of-11 off the bench to pace Brooklyn with 20 points in the setback. Joe Johnson and Deron Williams netted 19 apiece. Jarrett Jack scored 11 off the bench and the venerable Kevin Garnett added 10 and six rebounds.

"We have to play harder," said Garnett. "First game, we have something to build off of."

Brook Lopez missed the season-opener with a sprained foot and he's not expected to play on Saturday.

The Nets open the campaign with two road tilts, but play their next four at The Barclays Center.

The Pistons won three of four meetings last season, which halted a four-game winning streak by Brooklyn. Detroit has won 15 of the last 18 against the Nets as the host.