AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- The Detroit Pistons have more incentive than most teams to end the Dallas Mavericks' undefeated season.
Not only would a win Wednesday night stop Dallas' perfect start at 13 games - two short of the league record - it would provide a little revenge for a humiliating loss in Texas two weeks ago.
Washington started 15-0 in 1948, and Houston matched it in 1993.
"This is a great opportunity for us," Cliff Robinson said. "It would be fun to be the first team to beat them this year, especially after what they did to us down there."
On Nov. 9, Detroit trailed by as many as 53 points in a 114-75 loss to the Mavericks.
"That game is still fresh in all of our minds," Jon Barry said. "We played so badly down there that we don't even like thinking about it. We made them look unbeatable, but come to think of it, they have been unbeatable. It's going to be a great challenge for us."
The Pistons are protecting a winning streak of their own. They are 6-0 at the Palace this season.
"We've got to keep playing well at home," Barry said. "We've been tough here, and we keep winning our home games. That's how this league works."
In Dallas, the Pistons were helpless against the Mavericks' zone, but they expect to be better on Wednesday.
"We are a lot more prepared for the zone than we were down there," said Chucky Atkins, who will start at point guard in place of the injured Chauncey Billups. "They've got one of the best zones out there, because they are so long with guys like Dirk Nowitzki and Shawn Bradley, and they take such pride in it. We've just got to keep attacking it, and when they give us an open shot, we have to have the confidence to take it."
Detroit coach Rick Carlisle, though, doesn't want his players firing away at the first opportunity.
"There are a lot of times that you can get a good quick shot against that zone, but that just seduces you into playing their style of basketball," he said. "It's a Catch-22 in a way. You don't want to get into a shootout with them, but you know you might never get another good shot."
It will be the fourth meeting between the teams in less than two months. The Pistons won a pair of exhibition games.
"We've learned a lot about them, and they've learned a lot about us," Carlisle said. "They are one of the elite teams in the league. You don't go 13-0 by accident, and we've got to be ready to play our game. If we let them get the score into the 100s, we're in a lot of trouble."
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