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Champion Plays
03-23-2004, 07:00 PM
8.05pm ET
Detroit Pistons @ New Orleans Hornets

The Detroit Pistons go for their ninth straight win tonight when they take on the New Orleans Hornets.

Detroit are the hottest team in the league right now and if they can maintain their awesome defense they may just be the team to end the West's recent dominance in the NBA Finals.

"I don't know any other team that plays defense like they do," said Cavaliers forward Carlos Boozer after his team was held to a season-low 31 points in the first half and shot just 38% for the game. The Cavaliers would have been another victim of the Pistons growing sub-70 club but Detroit's huge lead allowed them to rest their starters for much of the second half.

"Defense carries their team and they are going to go a long way," LeBron James said. "I pretty much picked them to be in the Eastern Conference finals."

That win was the fifth straight on the road for Detroit and they have covered all of those games by at least 14 points. The Pistons eight-game winning streak overall have come by an average of 22 ppg thanks to a stellar defense that is allowing just 70 ppg during this stretch.

New Orleans have dropped three of their last four SU and ATS including home losses against 30-39 Toronto and 32-38 Seattle. The Hornets didn't get to the foul line once in the second or third quarters against the Sonics, and settling for outside shots won't get it done against the Pistons.

Another low-scoring game should once again play into the hands of the Pistons...when the posted total is between 170-179.5 points Detroit are 16-12 (.571) ATS while New Orleans are a miserable 5-15 (.250).

While Detroit can't keep winning forever we don't expect them to let up tonight as they seek revenge for a 92-81 loss to New Orleans in early February.

Recommended Play: Detroit -6

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