East’s worst meets West’s best as Pistons take on Suns

The Detroit Pistons own the worst record in the Eastern Conference but are showing improvement with stellar back-to-back road victories.Detroit now seeks its first three-game winning streak since late last season when it visits the Western Conference-best Phoenix Suns on Friday night.The Pistons were mired in a seven-game losing streak and were 0-10 on the road before producing a 110-108 win over the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday and adding a 125-116 victory over the Utah Jazz one night later.Detroit is saddled with a 5-15 record but the consecutive road wins provided a big boost.”Our togetherness brought us extra energy,” forward Bojan Bogdanovic said after the win over the Jazz. “That was a huge win (Tuesday) night and gave us big confidence and once again we played a great game.”Bogdanovic scored 22 points against Denver and 23 against Utah. He played the past three seasons for the Jazz before being dealt to the Pistons in the offseason.Bogdanovic has been a big hit with Detroit and has scored 20 or more points in five straight outings and seven of the past eight. The 33-year-old is averaging 20.7 points per game.The Pistons are thriving despite not having second-year pro Cade Cunningham (shin) for the past eight games. There is no timetable for the return of the No. 1 overall draft pick in 2021.Saddiq Bey (ankle) flew back to Detroit for treatment and will miss his fourth straight game. Isaiah Stewart (toe) will sit out for the sixth straight game.In addition, Killian Hayes (calf) was injured against the Jazz and isn’t expected to be available against the Suns.Regardless, Detroit led by as many as 14 points against Utah and had 24 assists against just seven turnovers.”Ball movement,” Pistons coach Dwane Casey said. “We probably had only two possessions where we over-dribbled. … The ball moving beats any rotation in the league.”The Suns will be without one of the top ball-handlers in the history of the sport as Chris Paul (heel) was ruled out for the eighth straight game.Phoenix has gone 4-3 without Paul, including back-to-back home victories over the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers earlier this week.

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