WASHINGTON - The Washington Wizards saw their three-game winning streak come to a screeching halt Friday, and they might have to try to start a new one without one of their best players. Second-year guard Bradley Beal left the Wizards' 120-98 loss at Minnesota with a left knee injury and is unlikely to play when the Wizards host Detroit on Saturday. The Pistons are trying to wrap up their three-game road trip with a 2-1 mark after a 109-92 loss at Orlando on Friday.
Detroit had won seven of eight on the road, including triumphs at Miami and Indiana, before turning in a clunker against the Magic. "We had no sense of urgency and we didn't muster energy at all tonight," Pistons point guard Brandon Jennings told reporters. "It's got to be a collective unit to try to get it back together, but we didn't have it tonight." Beal, who had to be carried off the floor by two teammates after bumping his left knee in a tangle with Luc Mbah a Moute and was on crutches after the game, is scheduled for an MRI Saturday after a precautionary X-ray came back negative.
ABOUT THE PISTONS (14-17): Detroit's recent hot streak was build on the shoulders of forward Josh Smith, but he was limited to five points on 2-of-13 shooting against Orlando. Smith wasn't the only Piston who struggled, though, as they were outrebounded and outscored in the paint - both rarities for a team boasting one of the top frontcourts in the league. The Pistons should have guard Chauncey Billups back on the court after the veteran rested his sore knee Friday.
ABOUT THE WiZARDS (12-14): John Wall has scored 20 or more points in a career-best five straight games, and the Wizards will need that sort of production to continue as long as Beal is sidelined. Washington also needs to play better inside after being outrebounded 44-35 and outscored 48-34 in the paint by the Timberwolves. The bench is awfully thin with Beal out, forward Nene on a minutes limit and forward Kevin Seraphin (knee) day-to-day after sitting out Friday.
1. Detroit has won seven straight meetings including a 113-102 season-opening win Oct. 30 in Detroit. The teams will meet again Monday in Detroit.
2. Pistons C Andre Drummond has 22 double-doubles, tied with Blake Griffin for the third-most in the league.
3. Wizards SF Trevor Ariza has scored in double figures in 13 straight games but had only 10 points on 3-of-9 shooting against Minnesota.
PREDICTION: Pistons 101, Wizards 99
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