Daily Confidential

Detroit isn't used to losing three straight games in a single season. Three wins in a row over the Pistons is certainly rare for the Washington Wizards.

After their second consecutive defeat, the Pistons look to avoid matching their longest losing streak to the Wizards in over 20 years when the teams meet Friday at The Palace of Auburn Hills.

The Pistons are 3-5, their worst start since they had the same record en route to a 50-loss season in 2000-01. They're in danger of losing three straight for the first time since March 22-25, 2005.

``It's still early in the season, but it is late enough that this is getting old,'' Detroit guard Chauncey Billups said after a 100-99 home loss to New Orleans on Wednesday night. ``It is just mental breakdowns. We're playing hard, but we've got three guys going one way and two going another way.''

Detroit now takes on a Washington team it has struggled against lately. After winning their previous 10 matchups with the Wizards (3-4), the Pistons were swept in their three-game series last season.

It's Detroit's longest skid against the Washington franchise since losing four straight spanning the 1982-83 and 1983-84 seasons. The Pistons' last win over the Wizards was 105-93 in Detroit on April 6, 2005.

Billups led all scorers with 29 points against the Hornets and Richard Hamilton added 23, but Detroit failed to reach the 100-point mark for the fourth straight game.

The Pistons are averaging 90.3 points in their last four contests.

``From my standpoint, we've gone here these last couple games where we had no aggression at all offensively,'' Detroit coach Flip Saunders said. ``I at least want to see guys being aggressive offensively.''

Detroit forward Antonio McDyess left Wednesday's game early in the fourth quarter with a mild sprain of his left ankle, but could have returned if needed.

Washington lost its second straight Wednesday night, 102-82 at New York in its worst offensive game of the season.

The Wizards shot a season-low 31.5 percent from the field as they fell to 0-3 on the road. Washington entered the game averaging a league-best 107.8 points per game.

Washington was 0-for-15 from 3-point range - tying an NBA record for futility - with leading scorer Gilbert Arenas missing all seven of his attempts. Three other NBA teams went 0-of-15 from 3-point range, with Milwaukee the last on Jan. 22, 2002.

``The way I look at it, it's mostly mental,'' Wizards coach Eddie Jordan said. ``That's where it starts and that's where it ends up.''

Arenas finished with 22 points but was only 5-of-19 from the floor. He's averaging 24.6 points in 11 games against the Pistons.

Antawn Jamison added 20 points Wednesday and Caron Butler scored 18 on 4-of-11 shooting. Jamison leads the team with 7.7 rebounds per game.

Copyright 2006 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited