Wizards-Pistons Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated December 20, 2012
The Washington Wizards own the worst record in the NBA and the Detroit Pistons aren't too far behind. That's not about to change any time soon, but a home-and-home set could provide some relief for one team. The Wizards and Pistons begin that stretch looking to end their respective lengthy losing streaks Friday night in Detroit. Washington (3-20) is last in the league with 89.7 points per game and 40.7 percent shooting from the floor. The Wizards' latest losing streak reached five with Wednesday's 90-83 defeat at Orlando. Three of those losses have come on the road, where they are an NBA-worst 1-11. "It hurts, but the moral of the story is you can't give up," said swingman Martell Webster, who had 11 points. "I think if we can keep our heads up and stay confident in our system, things will change." That's not likely to happen with star point guard John Wall still out with a knee injury, and Bradley Beal possibly sidelined for a second game due to a sore lower back. Beal, the third overall pick out of Florida in this year's draft, is second on the team with 12.5 points per game. "We don't have the guy you're just going to give the ball to and say carry the load for us," coach Randy Wittman said. "We're looking for solutions, we're trying." Jordan Crawford is doing his part, averaging 18.2 points over the past 12 games after totaling 46 with 17 assists and 15 rebounds in the last two. Washington has dropped 10 of the past 12 meetings with the Pistons (7-21) and eight of nine on the road. Detroit is also in search of answers, having dropped six straight with four of those defeats by seven points or fewer. The Pistons are shooting 40.5 percent from the field during the skid. They've dropped five in a row at home immediately following a five-game winning streak there. "We're trying to find out what we need to do to get back on track," said center Greg Monroe, the team leader with 15.7 points and 9.1 rebounds. The Pistons wasted a superb performance from Monroe on Wednesday, when he had a career-high 35 points with 10 rebounds in a 97-91 loss at Toronto. "We missed 12 free throws, we missed 24 shots in the paint and that resulted in the outcome," coach Lawrence Frank said. Brandon Knight is looking to rebound from one of his worst games of the season. The guard made just 1 of 10 from the floor to match his season low of two points against the Raptors. He had been averaging 20.7 points over the previous seven games. Detroit won two of three against Washington last season without much help from Knight, who averaged 5.3 points on 6 of 30 from the field. Monroe was much more effective, totaling 45 points in two home matchups. These teams meet again in Washington on Saturday.
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