It’s been scarce in the month of December, so the Pistons went back to it the day after the new year.

No, not clutch play, considering they don’t play until Sunday.

But practice, much needed practice after a couple days off — to wash the taste of disparate, bad losses from their collective mouths.

The time away was as beneficial as the two-hour practice session Maurice Cheeks put the players through, when he usually keeps them around an hour.

“Yeah, for sure. I know I went home, Josh (Smith), a lot of guys I know went home,” veteran guard Chauncey Billups said. “And everybody came back, like, ‘I needed that.’ Just to get away a bit, we had our best practice of the season.”

Having 18 games in December leaves very little time for practice, as the precious time away is used for mental and physical recovery.

From the last two weeks of November, the Pistons have played at least four games a week and had one stretch of two days between games in that time period.

“I don’t know if we needed a mental break, I don’t know about that,” Cheeks said. “Just some kind of break. We had a nice, hard practice today.”

Safe to say, the energy was high as the Pistons are about to embark on a lighter January schedule, which was surprising to Cheeks. From his comments, he expected sluggishness after the holiday.

“A lot of times when you’re off for a couple days and have a day off (after), you normally don’t have a good practice.”

Thursday’s practice was seemingly focused more on half-court play than anything else —which has been the chief reason the Pistons have dropped their last four home games, being outscored in the fourth quarter, 128-70, in losses to Portland, Charlotte, Houston, and Washington.