The Washington Wizards are already enduring a stretch without one star guard and they now have to hold their breath on another. The Wizards hope to have sharpshooter Bradley Beal in the lineup Friday when they make a pit stop at home to take on the streaking Detroit Pistons.
With John Wall sitting out his third straight game due to lingering knee issues, Beal took an elbow in the face during Wednesday’s 118-113 loss at Philadelphia and will undergo further testing Thursday. “The eye is very important, so [the doctor] said there might be some things in the back going on that might not affect you right now but could affect me tonight or tomorrow,” Beal told the Washington Post. The Wizards would love to have all hands on deck against a Pistons unit that has claimed three straight, including an impressive 10-point win at Eastern Conference-leading Boston and a 131-107 rout of Phoenix on Wednesday. “I thought it was very impressive to come out and play the way we did tonight after a huge win on Monday,” Detroit coach Stan Van Gundy told reporters after the win over the Suns. “We were really on it from the start defensively, and we were moving the ball and playing with energy on offense.”
TV: 7 p.m. ET, FS Detroit, NBCS Washington
ABOUT THE PISTONS (14-6): Reggie Jackson produced 23 points on 9-of-13 shooting in Detroit’s finest offensive output of the season Wednesday night, and the star guard was also impressed with how his team avoided a letdown following the win in Boston. “It was easy to get fired up for our last two games, but we had to find a way to bring energy to ourselves tonight,” Jackson told the media. “We locked in and stayed with the game plan and our fans were amazing. We were more mature in our approach.” Jackson’s backup, Ish Smith, is averaging 12.3 points and 4.3 assists in 21 minutes during the three-game winning streak.
ABOUT THE WIZARDS (11-10): Beal still managed 21 points in 23 minutes before fouling out in the loss to Philadelphia, which saw Washington - led largely by its bench - make a furious comeback with 48 fourth-quarter points. Kelly Oubre Jr. led the charge by the reserves with 22 points, which comes a game after his 16 points paced a 49-point barrage by the bench in a win at Minnesota. Beal had 25 points to help Washington top Detroit 115-111 earlier this season.
1. This marks one of just two home games in a span of 25 days for Washington.
2. Pistons C Andre Drummond, who averages 0.9 assists for his career, has 13 over the last two contests.
3. Wizards SG Jodie Meeks scored a season-high 21 points against the Sixers and is 7-for-12 from 3-point range over his last two games.
PREDICTION: Pistons 105, Wizards 101