Suns, Pistons tangle at The Palace

11:13 AM, Jan 11, 2014   |    comments
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( - The Phoenix Suns hope to hold on to a lead if they get one Saturday against the Detroit Pistons at The Palace of Auburn Hills.

The Suns led for most of Friday's 104-99 loss in Memphis, but ultimately suffered defeat for the second time in three tries. Goran Dragic scored 21 points and Markieff Morris added 17 off the bench in the loss.

Gerald Green (12), P.J. Tucker (11) and Channing Frye (10) rounded out the double-digit scorers for Phoenix, which has alternated wins and losses over its last six games and is 1-2 on a five-game road trip.

Memphis had a 53-44 advantage on the glass and grabbed 39 offensive rebounds.

"We were really focused on getting boards, and they still get them," Suns head coach Jeff Hornacek said. "They are a tough team for us, for whatever reason."

The Grizzlies have won six of the last eight meetings with Phoenix, which fell to 9-9 away from home and will close the trip Monday in New York. Prior to Friday's game, the Suns learned that guard Eric Bledsoe will be out indefinitely after undergoing right knee surgery.

No timetable for a return has been set, but the team said Bledsoe "will immediately begin a recovery and rehabilitation program and will pursue a possible return to action during the second half of this NBA season."

Bledsoe has averaged 18.0 points, 5.8 assists and 4.3 rebounds in 24 games this season, his first with the Suns.

Detroit ended a six-game losing streak with Friday's 114-104 victory at Philadelphia and owned the boards to the tune of 62-42. The Pistons had a 25-13 advantage on the offensive glass and were led by Josh Smith's 22 points and 13 rebounds.

Smith was one of seven players with 10 or more points, while Brandon Jennings ended with 19 points and both Kyle Singler and Will Bynum added 16. Greg Monroe had a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds and Andre Drummond finished with 11 and 12 boards for Detroit, which went 1-2 on the trip.

"Hopefully, this is a stepping-stone for us to get it going," said Pistons coach and former Sixers great Maurice Cheeks.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope netted 12 points for the Pistons.

The Pistons, who are winless in the last five as the host, will play two in a row at home and are 6-12 at The Palace. They have struggled against the West this season, too, going 1-11 overall and 0-6 at home.

Detroit and Phoenix split two meetings last season, while the Suns have dominated the series of late with a 7-2 mark in the previous nine games.

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