NBA Basketball

Jerami Grant faces former team as Pistons visit Nuggets

According to STATS
According to STATS

Detroit Pistons at Denver Nuggets

  1. The Nuggets are 10-1 in their last 11 home games against the Pistons, losing only in November 2016. The teams have split their two-game series each of the last two seasons, with the home team winning all four games.
  2. Denver defeated Utah at home yesterday, 128-117, its most points scored in a non-overtime game this season. The Nuggets shot 64.3 percent from three-point range (18/28), their highest percentage all-time in a game with at least 25 three-point attempts.
  3. Detroit suffered its biggest loss of the season Saturday at Golden State, 118-91. The Pistons' .250 win percentage is tied for the worst in the NBA, with the Wizards.
  4. Jerami Grant has made at least two three-pointers in 19 straight games, the longest such streak in Pistons history. The only NBA player with a longer active streak is the Kings' Buddy Hield (23).
  5. Nikola Jokic matched a career high with 47 points in yesterday's win, with 33 of those points coming in the first half -- the most by an NBA player in a first half this season. The last Nugget with 33+ first-half points was Allen Iverson in December 2007 against the Lakers (33).
  6. Wayne Ellington (50.5 percent) and Michael Porter Jr. (50.0 percent) are two of four NBA players shooting 50 percent or better from three-point range this season, with a minimum of 50 attempts. The others are Desmond Bane of the Grizzlies (52.0) and Seth Curry of the 76ers (50.0).

The Detroit Pistons have just five wins, but two of those have come in the last week against Philadelphia and the Los Angeles Lakers.

Beating good teams is usually a confidence boost, but in the first of a five-game Western Conference road trip, Detroit fell flat at Golden State. It doesn't get easier when the Pistons face the Nuggets in Denver on Monday night.

It will be the second of back-to-back games for the Nuggets, who beat the Utah Jazz -- Detroit's opponent on Tuesday night -- 128-117 and are playing their third game in four days.

Monday's game will be the first in Denver for Pistons forward Jerami Grant since he spurned the Nuggets' contract offer and signed with Detroit for the same money. One of the reasons Grant had for accepting the Pistons' three-year, $60-million offer was to be one of the top offensive options, something that was not probable with Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. on Denver's roster.

Grant leads Detroit in scoring at (23.5 points) and in shot attempts (17.3) per game.

Grant had 18 points in the 27-point loss to the Warriors, a game in which the Pistons had difficulty finding their rhythm.

"I'm confident we'll find it," said Josh Jackson, who scored 17 in the loss. "I've been around this group of guys for a while and one thing I've learned is they never lay down or never give up. I'm not worried."

Detroit should be worried about stopping Jokic, who tied a career high with 47 points in Sunday's win that ended Utah's 11-game winning streak. Jokic has notched a double-double in all 20 games this season.

Jokic had time to go for 50 points but he went to the bench with the game in hand. His teammates were more interested in him getting there than Jokic.

Jokic's former backup, Mason Plumlee, can help with the scouting report for the Pistons but it might not matter, according to Denver's Will Barton.

"He's just different with his demeanor and approach to the game," Barton said of Jokic. "A guy that really just wants to make the right play every time. When he turns that aggressive there's nothing no one can do.

"We definitely wanted the big fella to get 5-0."

The Nuggets will be playing their seventh game in 11 days and might have to do without their best perimeter defender in Gary Harris. Harris played just nine minutes in the first quarter on Sunday before leaving with a left adductor strain.

Coach Michael Malone did not provide an update on Harris' condition in Sunday's postgame availability.

Denver has been banged up lately; it is already without PJ Dozier, and Murray is playing with a sore left shoulder. But Malone was happy with the contributions he from other players, such as Barton, JaMychal Green and Facundo Campazzo, on Sunday.

"You don't beat the best team in the NBA with just one player," Malone said. "It takes a team effort and I thought we got a lot of guys stepping up."

--Field Level Media

Updated January 31, 2021

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