National Basketball Association
Washington at Detroit
When: 8:00 PM ET, Friday, January 19, 2018
Where: Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, Michigan
The Detroit Pistons are on another downslope in what has been a rollercoaster first half, and they will try to snap a three-game slide when they host the Washington Wizards on Friday. The Pistons own four different winning streaks of at least three games this season but also have a seven-game slide on the resume.
Detroit forced 20 turnovers and held the Toronto Raptors to 42.5 percent from the floor in a 96-91 road loss on Wednesday but were still pointing at the defense as the cause of the team's problems. "We haven't been good," small forward Tobias Harris told the team's website. "Our focus level really hasn't been where it needs to be defensively. That's on everybody. We have to be more locked in to the game plan and what we need to do. A lot of it just comes down to us trusting each other. I think we're going out there more -- because we know we haven't been playing good defense -- focused on our guy instead of focusing on the whole team thing. That's kind of where it's going and that's where it needs to stop, too." The Wizards could use a refresher course on the defensive end as well after getting rolled over in a 133-109 loss at Charlotte on Wednesday. "They're making shots. We're helping them make shots. It's unacceptable the way we competed," Wizards coach Scott Brooks told reporters. "We're going to have change some things and make sure we're all going to compete. If not, we're going to have to find guys who are going to compete."
8 p.m. ET, ESPN, NBCS Washington-plus, FS DetroitABOUT THE WIZARDS (25-20):
Washington is allowing an average of 114.3 points during a six-game stretch in which it has dropped four games, and it allowed Charlotte to score a franchise-record 77 points in the first half on Wednesday. "They were making every shot," point guard John Wall told reporters. "We didn't make them feel us. We didn't put enough pressure on guys. They basically were just running dummy offense and getting whatever they wanted and being the more aggressive team, so that's why they scored so high." Wall was held to 12 points in 24 minutes and no starter logged more than 28 minutes with the game out of hand early.
ABOUT THE PISTONS (22-21):
Detroit is just 3-7 in 10 games since point guard Reggie Jackson went down with an ankle injury, and Ish Smith is struggling to consistently step up in his place. Smith enjoyed his best game since Jackson went down on Monday, when he collected 19 points and 10 assists against Charlotte, but failed to follow that up and slumped to three points on 1-of-12 shooting in Wednesday's setback. Backcourt mate Avery Bradley is shooting 38.4 percent from the field in eight games since returning from a groin injury but aggravated the injury during Wednesday's loss and is expected to visit a specialist.BUZZER BEATERS
1. Wizards SF Kelly Oubre Jr. is 15-of-24 from the floor, including 9-of-14 from 3-point range, over the last three games.
2. Pistons SF Stanley Johnson (hip) missed eight of the last nine games and remains day-to-day.
3. Washington took the first two meetings this season -- both at home -- by a total of 22 points.PREDICTION:
Pistons 106, Wizards 103
Stats and Records