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Game Preview: Phoenix Suns face Detroit Pistons in second night of back-to-back

Can the Suns get the job done on the road again?

NBA: Detroit Pistons at Phoenix Suns Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

What: Phoenix Suns (28-26) vs. Detroit Pistons (14-39)

When: 5:00 p.m. AZ Time

Where: Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, Michigan

Watch: Bally Sports AZ

Listen: 98.7 FM

DraftKings Betting Lines: Suns are 4.5 point favorites

The Phoenix Suns face the Detroit Pistons on the second night of a back-to-back Saturday at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Michigan. The game will be televised by Bally Sports AZ.

The Suns are coming off an impressive win over the first-placed team in the NBA, the Boston Celtics. Phoenix led by as many as 18 points in the game and closed the contest strong after a late comeback from the Celtics, who won the third quarter 29-17 but did not have enough to win.

The Suns are in the midst of a positive stretch with seven wins in their last nine games. It is a better sight for their fans after they lost 12 of their previous 14 contests.

Phoenix will look to extend its improved play against the Pistons, who defeated the Charlotte Hornets Friday night, 118-112.

Detroit is tied for the second-worst record in the NBA (14-39) and is the last-placed team in the Eastern Conference. The Suns and the Pistons faced earlier this season in Phoenix, which the Suns won, 108-102.

Phoenix won that game behind an impressive performance from starting center Deandre Ayton, who had 28 points on 11-of-13 shooting with 12 rebounds and two blocks. All-Star guard Devin Booker (21 points) and starting forward Mikal Bridges (15 points) were also in double figures.

Here are some of the notable statistics for each team provided by TeamRankings.

  • Points per game: Phoenix (No. 23, 112.6), Detroit (No. 22, 112.7)
  • Assists per game: Phoenix (No. 4, 26.9), Detroit (No. 26, 22.7)
  • Rebounds per game: Phoenix (No. 9, 52.5), Detroit (No. 15, 51.7)
  • Average scoring margin: Phoenix (No. 12, +1.0), Detroit (No. 28, -7.2)
  • Offensive efficiency: Phoenix (No. 18), Detroit (No. 25)
  • Team shooting percentage: Phoenix (No. 22, 46.1), Detroit (No. 26, 45.6)
  • Effective field goal percentage: Phoenix (No. 21, 53.2), Detroit (No. 26, 52.4)
  • 3-point percentage: Phoenix (No. 4, 38.4), Detroit (No. 16, 35.9)
  • 2-point percentage: Phoenix (No. 30, 50.7), Detroit (No. 29, 51.5)
  • Blocks per game: Phoenix (No. 9, 5.1), Detroit (No. 28, 3.6)
  • Steals per game: Phoenix (No. 18, 6.9), Detroit (No. 12, 7.3)
  • Turnovers per game: Phoenix (No. 14, 14.1), Detroit (No. 21, 15.0)
  • Opponent points per game: Phoenix (No. 5, 111.5), Detroit (No. 29, 11.9.9)
  • Opponent shooting percentage: Phoenix (No. 11, 46.9), Detroit (No. 29, 49.3)
  • Opponent effective field-goal percentage: Phoenix (No. 8, 53.5), Detroit (No. 28, 56.1)
  • Defensive efficiency: Phoenix (No. 8), Detroit (No. 29)
  • Opponent 3-point percentage: Phoenix (No. 19, 36.2), Detroit (No. 15, 35.8)
  • Opponent 2-point percentage: Phoenix (No. 7, 53.0), Detroit (No. 30, 57.6)
  • Opponent total rebounds per game: Phoenix (No. 13, 51.1), Detroit (No. 19, 52.3)

Likely Starting Lineups

Phoenix Suns

  • PG Chris Paul
  • F Mikal Bridges
  • F Cam Johnson
  • F Torrey Craig
  • C Deandre Ayton

Detroit Pistons

  • G Jaden Ivey
  • G Alec Burks
  • F Bojan Bogdanovic
  • C Isaiah Stewart
  • C Jalen Duren



  • G Devin Booker (groin) is OUT
  • G Cameron Payne (right foot sprain) is OUT
  • G Landry Shamet (foot) is OUT
  • F Jae Crowder (chillin at home) is OUT


  • G Cade Cunningham (recovering from surgery on left tibial stress fracture) is OUT
  • F Marvin Bagley III (recovering from hand surgery) is OUT
  • G Cory Joseph (back) is ?

Uniform Matchup

Courtesy of

What to Watch For

The Suns had a very impressive win against the Celtics and can not have a letdown against Detroit, who is one of the worst teams in the league.

Phoenix is still recovering from multiple injuries, and back-to-backs on the road are always challenging. With any similar case, it will be important for the Suns to show energy from the jump. They cannot have a lackluster start against a Detroit team that still has a great coach, Dwane Casey, and could control the rebounding battle with two centers in its starting lineup.

The Suns took care of business against the Pistons in November, but that was when they were mostly healthy. They are not now, obviously, and will need to find ways to manufacture impressive performances like they have of late.

All-Time Meetings

The Suns and Pistons have played 142 times in their history dating back to the 1968-69 season. The teams are tied at 71 wins each.

Phoenix has won the last four meetings after Detroit won the previous eight games.

Keys to a Suns Win

The Suns are on the second night of a back-to-back on the road, which is challenging in itself. Detroit is not a great team but could create some challenges with its two bigs, Stewart and Duren, inside. Dwane Casey is also a proven coach and can provide some schematical challenges.

Phoenix is a much better offensive team than Detroit and has much more experience than some of the Pistons’ players. The Suns should be able to break down Detroit’s wings, especially, since they are not as talented.

If the Suns’ starters can win their minutes, they should not have much difficulty. However, this is the NBA and things can change on any given night. Expect the Suns to win at certain matchups and if they don’t, this game could come down to bench minutes or crunch time. Phoenix does not need any of that to happen.


The Pistons are a poor defensive team and on paper, do not have anyone who should be able to stop the Suns from orchestrating their offensive sets at a high level.

The Suns are coming off a ‘high’ with a win over the Celtics, so they will need to ensure they do not let their foot off the gas against the Pistons. It is unexpected they will do so given their championship pedigree and playoff experience over the last few seasons, so it’s hard to predict anything but what seems to be easy to read.

Phoenix will take care of Detroit before it has three more games on its current road trip.

Suns 123, Pistons 105

When the game is over, join the Suns JAM Session Podcast as we discuss the game live on YouTube.

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