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Arenas, Wizards visit Pistons in battle of elite East squads

Jan 26, 2007 - 4:53 PM Washington (24-17) at Detroit (24-16) 8:00 pm EST

AUBURN HILLS, Michigan (Ticker) -- A flair for dramatic finishes has enabled Gilbert Arenas to be chosen to his third consecutive All-Star Game.

One day after his selection as a starter was announced, Arenas leads the Washington Wizards into a visit with the Detroit Pistons on Friday in a meeting between the top two teams in the Eastern Conference.

Arenas beat out New Jersey's Vince Carter by 3,000 votes for the final spot in the East starting five, becoming the first Wizards' player to start since Michael Jordan in 2003.

The league's second leading scorer (29.7), Arenas scored a league-high 60 points against the Los Angeles Lakers on December 17. He also nailed a 3-pointer at the buzzer to defeat the Milwaukee Bucks on January 3 and another to top the Utah Jazz just 12 days later.

Washington had a four-game winning streak stopped with Tuesday's 127-105 loss to the Phoenix Suns. Arenas scored 31 points, Caron Butler had 24 points and Antonio Daniels 20 for Wizards.

The Pistons have won their last three games and are 3-1 since signing Chris Webber after he was released by the Philadelphia 76ers.

Detroit is coming off Wednesday's 103-92 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats. Richard Hamilton scored 22 points, Rasheed Wallace had 20 and Webber 19.

The Pistons have won the first two encounters against the Wizards this season, including a 115-111 triumph November 25. Chauncey Billups scored 29 points for Detroit while Arenas led Washington with 28.

The Pistons are just one-half game ahead of the Wizards for first place in the Eastern Conference.

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