The Charlotte Hornets followed up a season-worst four-skid with consecutive solid victories and attempt to notch another when they host the road-challenged Detroit Pistons on Tuesday. Just as quickly as Charlotte fell into a funk, it rebounded in a fury with Monday’s 104-85 road victory over the Memphis Grizzlies rating as one of their top wins of the season.
The 19-point victory in Memphis represented the Hornets’ second-largest winning margin of the campaign and the 85 points allowed was their fewest of the season. Standout guard Kemba Walker made five 3-pointers while scoring 21 points versus the Grizzlies and he is averaging 24.5 points over the past two games and has 14 20-point outings this season. The Pistons are just 1-8 on the road this season while allowing 104 or more points in seven of their nine road games. “Sometimes you can just talk about stuff too much and it just becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy,” Detroit coach Stan Van Gundy told reporters of the suspect defense. “Somebody’s going to go out and try to play basketball and play better on this road trip.”
TV: 7 p.m. ET, FSN Detroit Plus, FSN Southeast (Charlotte)
ABOUT THE PISTONS (8-10): Point guard Reggie Jackson participated in Monday’s practice as he moves closer to a return from a knee issue. It was Jackson’s first 5-on-5 practice since receiving injections of platelet-rich plasma more than a month ago to help promote healing. “I’ve seen him for a couple weeks — he looks fine playing,” Van Gundy said. “Stamina is going to be an issue. I don’t think he can play 33 minutes a game right now. Whenever they tell me he’s ready to go, and he tells me he’s ready to go in his mind, then he’ll go.”
ABOUT THE HORNETS (10-7): Backup shooting guard Jeremy Lamb recently returned from a hamstring injury and he strung together terrific efforts in the two wins — 18 points and a career-best 17 rebounds in Saturday’s triumph over the New York Knicks and a season-high 21 points to go with nine rebounds against the Grizzlies. “I‘m just trying to bring energy; that’s what you want to do off the bench,” Lamb told reporters. “It’s a long season. This is just two games. I gotta continue to focus and stay at it.” Lamb averaged career highs of 8.8 points and 3.8 rebounds last season, his first in Charlotte.
1. The Pistons won last season’s final meeting after the Hornets took four of the previous five matchups.
2. Charlotte SG Nicolas Batum (eye) scored just six points on 1-of-5 shooting against Memphis after a one-game absence.
3. Detroit backup G Reggie Bullock (left knee) is waiting on a second opinion as he considers whether to undergo surgery to repair a torn meniscus.
PREDICTION: Hornets 102, Pistons 98