Preview: Pistons at Wizards
Updated On: Jan 18 2014 12:38:19 AM CST
The Washington Wizards are one win away from joining the rarified air as a winning team in the Eastern Conference. The Wizards will attempt to move over the even mark and earn a fourth straight victory when they host the Detroit Pistons on Saturday. The Pistons flirted with the .500 mark in the middle of last month but have since dropped nine of 12 and are coming off a 110-89 home loss to the Utah Jazz on Friday.Washington is not only on a winning streak but is taking care of things in impressive fashion with a pair of wins over Chicago and a 114-97 drubbing of the defending-champion Miami Heat. The Wizards are putting in strong work on both ends, highlighted by Nene's block that ended Friday's 96-93 win as they held the Bulls to two points in the final five minutes. Washington swept a home-and-home set from the Pistons at the end of last month and has taken the first two of a five-game homestand.TV: 7 p.m. ET, FSN Detroit-plus, CSN Mid-Atlantic (Washington)ABOUT THE PISTONS (16-23): Detroit appeared to be snapping out of its funk with back-to-back wins but allowed Utah to shoot 54.4 percent and was surprisingly outrebounded 43-32 on Friday. The Pistons are at their best when the front line of Andre Drummond, Greg Monroe and Josh Smith is imposing its will but those three were largely neutralized on Friday as the Jazz stuck with a smaller lineup. Monroe and Smith each recorded double-doubles in wins over Philadelphia and Phoenix but were held to a combined eight points and three rebounds on Friday.ABOUT THE WIZARDS (19-19): Washington had been taking advantage of the weaker teams on its schedule to move into the top eight of a poor Eastern Conference but looked strong against the Bulls and the Heat with a tight eight-man rotation getting the bulk of the minutes. Trevor Booker is thriving in a return to a reserve role while John Wall continues to make improvements and is averaging 22.3 points and nine assists in the last three contests. The Wizards will attempt to pad their record as they finish up a five-game homestand with losing teams Detroit, Philadelphia and Boston.BUZZER BEATERS1. The Wizards crushed the Pistons 106-82 at home on Dec. 28 and picked up a seven-point win on the road two days later.2. Detroit G Brandon Jennings is struggling to 29.4 percent from the field over the last five games.3. Washington F Martell Webster is 9-for-16 from 3-point range in the last three contests.PREDICTION: Wizards 103, Pistons 97
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