For the Detroit Pistons, eight is more than enough.
The losses have been piling up in the early going and they’ll look to end their eight-game slide when they host the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday.
The game is part of the NBA’s new in-season tournament. The Pistons lost their East Group A opener to Philadelphia on Friday, 114-106. The Hawks will be playing their tournament opener.
Detroit hit the road after the loss to the Sixers and were defeated Sunday by Chicago, 119-108. The Pistons haven’t won since they defeated the Bulls Oct. 28.
There were a few positive developments in the latest defeat.
Forward Kevin Knox led Detroit with 18 points off the bench. Knox was beginning his second stint with the franchise after signing as a free agent on Wednesday.
“I give props to the coaches and the players,” Knox said. “They helped me as soon as I got in. They got me the playbook, getting all the simple plays and the reads that I needed to get in order to play in (Sunday’s) game.”
Alec Burks also gave the team a boost off the bench, supplying 16 points. Burks missed the previous six games with a forearm injury.
“I think once he gets his legs underneath him, he’s just going to be more and more effective,” coach Monty Williams said.
Jaden Ivey added six points in 11 minutes. He hadn’t played the previous four games due to a viral infection.
“I could barely even watch TV,” he said. “I had some symptoms going that were crazy, some symptoms that I’d never really experienced before ever. I’m back on my feet now.”
What the Pistons couldn’t overcome was a quiet night from their star, Cade Cunningham. He got into early foul trouble and was held to a season-low 10 points.
The Hawks have won five of their past seven games, but fell in their most recent outing Saturday, 117-109, to Miami. Atlanta was outscored by 17 points in the opening quarter and never recovered.
Turnovers were a major issue, as the Heat converted 22 giveaways into 23 points.
“We had some open looks that we didn’t take,” Hawks coach Quin Snyder said. “If you’ve got those, you have to take them because there’s a good chance you’re driving into bodies if you get into the lane, and you have to add poise and play off two feet and use fakes and do all those things in order to find other people.
“We didn’t do that on the level we needed to by any means.”
Trae Young leads the Hawks at 24.4 points per game but he’s shooting just 35.7 percent from the field. Despite Young’s shooting slump, the Hawks are averaging 120.3 points per game.
“We’ve just got to shoot the ball. When you catch the ball, just shoot it,” Young said.
Young didn’t hesitate to shoot against the Pistons last season. He averaged 31.8 points as Atlanta swept the four-game season series.
Following Tuesday’s game, Atlanta will return for a four-game homestand. Detroit will play its next two games on the road.
–Field Level Media
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