Pistons seek another win over visiting Hornets
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Tobias Harris endured a rare poor shooting performance on Saturday night.
The Detroit Pistons' leading scorer will try to bounce back on Monday afternoon against a team that couldn't contain him on opening night.
Harris was held to seven points in Detroit's 107-105 loss at Chicago against the Bulls. He shot 3-for-14 overall and missed all six of his 3-point attempts. He averaged 24.7 points in the Pistons' previous three games.
Detroit returns home to Little Caesars Arena to play 14 of its next 17 games. That stretch begins with a matchup against the Charlotte Hornets, whom the Pistons defeated 102-90 in the inaugural regular-season game in the new building. Harris scored 27 points that night.
"He just has to continue to stay positive," Pistons shooting guard Avery Bradley said. "He's a very good scorer. He'll play better next game for us. But we definitely need Tobias to play well in order for us to have a good offensive performance."
The Pistons have been playing since Christmas without top point guard Reggie Jackson, who is nursing a severe ankle sprain. The Pistons are 12-4 when Harris scores 20 or more points. But Harris, who is averaging 18.2 points per game, does not feel like he needs to carry the scoring load.
"I don't have any extra pressure," he said. "I just go out there, try to get into a rhythm and play offensively like I've been doing. Obviously (Saturday) I wasn't able to do that."
Coach Stan Van Gundy is more concerned about his team's inconsistent defense. In its four losses this month, Detroit has allowed an average of 111 points. The Bulls shot 48.3 percent and made 17 threes.
"We still don't understand that we have to play for 48 minutes, hard defensively," he said. "We still don't get that, every night. We don't get it."
The Hornets suffered a home loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder 101-91 on Saturday. They led 59-55 at halftime, then scored just 32 second-half points.
"The first half we were great. We really moved the ball well," Charlotte interim head coach Stephen Silas said. "Played pretty good defense. It was an up and down game. The second half, we just kind of lost it."
Silas attributed the second-half woes to fatigue. Charlotte topped the Utah Jazz 99-88 on Friday.
"It looked to me that we really ran out of gas in that second half, he said. "We started the quarter pretty good but after the second group went in, they seemed tired, and our first group seemed tired. Back to back, obviously, with a quick turnaround it was a tough one. We have to quickly regroup and get ready for an afternoon game in Detroit."
Like the Pistons, Charlotte needs its top offensive threat to rebound from an off-night. Kemba Walker shot 5-for-17 from the field against the Thunder while scoring 19 points. He had just two assists while committing five turnovers. Walker scored 22 points against the Jazz and 41 against Dallas on Wednesday.
Detroit has won five of the last six meetings.
Updated January 14, 2018