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The worst of the East meets the best of the West as the Pistons take on the Suns

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The Detroit Pistons They have the worst record in the Eastern Conference but are showing improvement with impressive straight road wins.

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Detroit is now seeking its first three-game winning streak since late last season when it visits the best Western Conference Phoenix Suns on Friday night.

The Pistons were mired in a seven-game losing streak and were 0-10 on the road before they took a 110-108 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday and added a 125-116 win over the Utah Jazz one night.

Detroit is saddled with a 5-15 record but back-to-back wins on the road provided a huge boost.

“Our cooperation brought us extra energy,” striker Bojan Bogdanovic said after the victory over Jazz. “It was a big win (Tuesday) and it gave us a lot of confidence and once again we played a great game.”

Bogdanovic scored 22 points against Denver and 23 against Utah. He played the last three seasons for the Jazz before being dealt to the Pistons in the offseason.

Bogdanovic has had great success with Detroit, scoring 20 or more points in five straight games and seven of the past eight. The 33-year-old averages 20.7 points per game.

The Pistons are thriving despite not having second-year pro Cady Cunningham (Shane) in the past eight games. There is no schedule for the first draft to return in 2021.

Bey’s friend (his ankle) is back in Detroit for treatment and will miss his fourth straight game. He would sit out Isaiah Stewart (toe) for the sixth straight game.

Additionally, Killian Hayes (calf) was injured against the Jazz and is not expected to be available against the Suns.

Regardless, Detroit led as many as 14 points against Utah and had 24 assists against just seven turnovers.

“The movement of the ball,” said Pistons coach Duane Casey. “Maybe we just had possessions where we dribbled excessively. … The moving ball beats any spin in the league.”

The Suns will be without one of the best kickers in sports history as Chris Paul (heel) has been left out for the eighth straight game.

Phoenix won 4-3 without Paul, including back-to-back home wins over the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers earlier this week.

The back-to-back wins were the first since the Suns snapped a five-game winning streak on November 4.

Deandre Ayton said Phoenix isn’t worried about the record’s standing after 17 games. He said the Suns are thinking of bigger things after losing in the NBA Finals to the Milwaukee Bucks two seasons ago and being knocked out by the Dallas Mavericks in the second round last season.

“We’re not playing hard to make you quit. We’re playing hard,” Ayton said after Tuesday’s 115-105 win over the Lakers. “Because we have a bigger agenda. This team, we’ve been embarrassed the last couple of years when we’ve played the best basketball we’ve ever played and never finished it…

“We’re looking at the brighter picture. We’re fighting for something much bigger than that.”

Ayton scored 14 points and 15 rebounds against the Lakers, while Devin Booker and Michael Bridges scored 25 points each.

Cameron Payne, who has gone over 20 points four times since Paul’s injury, was only 11 of 5 of 15.

Landry Shamet (concussion) will miss his seventh straight game.

The Suns have won the past three, after Detroit has won the previous eight.

–Field level of arguments

Copyright 2022 STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and the Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

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