Detroit (33-40) practically have to win out and get help to overtake Milwaukee for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference as they entered play Sunday 5.5 games behind the Bucks with nine games remaining.
The Pistons did take care of business on their end Saturday night, thrashing Chicago 117-95 for their third victory in four games. The problem is Detroit have not punched above their weight class of late, losing their last seven games to teams who have winning records.
Anthony Tolliver hit a career-high six 3-pointers and matched a season best with 25 points as Detroit had eight players in double figures. The Pistons finished with 16 3-pointers, including 13 in the first half as they finished one shy of their season high set against Orlando on December 17. Andre Drummond chipped in 15 points and 20 rebounds, marking the 16th time this season he has grabbed at least 20 boards.
Los Angeles (32-40) are on the verge of being mathematically eliminated from the playoffs but are trying to salvage a split of their four-game road swing. The Lakers snapped a four-game skid with a 100-93 victory at lowly Memphis on Saturday, getting double-doubles from forwards Kyle Kuzma and Julius Randle as they combined for 45 points and 21 rebounds.
The Lakers, who rallied from 11 points down in the first half, also made 13 3-pointers, with 11 of them coming from Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Travis Wear. Los Angeles also limited Memphis to 17.2 percent shooting from beyond the arc in sending the Grizzlies to their 23rd loss in 24 games.
Los Angeles, who will be without Isaiah Thomas for this game due to a hip injury, are trying to sweep the series from the Pistons for the first time since the 2014/15 season.