Wizards sharp early and late in 133-119 win over Pistons
DETROIT (AP) — The Washington Wizards hardly missed during the first quarter, shooting 81% from the field.
Then in the final period, they nearly repeated that feat.
Bradley Beal scored 35 points and Isaiah Thomas added 23 to lift the Wizards to a 133-119 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Monday night. Washington led 43-31 after the first quarter, and after the Pistons rallied, the Wizards shot 78% from the floor in the fourth.
Beal and Thomas each scored 11 points in the fourth and missed only one shot between them in that quarter.
“Brad’s going to be Brad, so he’s going to do what he’s been doing all year, his whole career,” Thomas said. “Slowly, I’m feeling like myself more and more.”
Thomas returned from a calf injury, while the Pistons were without injured stars Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond.
Washington shot 17 of 21 from the field in the first quarter. The Wizards made all three of their 3-point attempts and all six of their free throws in the opening period.
“You give a team 43 points in the first quarter, that’s the game,” Detroit coach Dwane Casey said. “You let a team see the ball go through the basket, a team that’s been struggling. They lost how many straight?”
The Wizards snapped a four-game losing streak, and the Pistons failed to build on their victory at Houston on Saturday night.
Detroit rallied after falling behind by 16 in the second quarter, but the Wizards were relentless offensively. Davis Bertans added 17 points for Washington.
Derrick Rose and Markieff Morris each scored 22 points for Detroit.
It was 67-61 at halftime, and Washington led 96-91 after three. In the final quarter, the Wizards’ lead stayed between two and five until Beal’s two free throws made it a six-point game with 5:20 to play.
Thomas then added a 3-pointer to make it 117-108. The Wizards shot 14 of 18 in the final quarter and ultimately won comfortably.
“We couldn’t get stops all game, couldn’t get stops when they were shooting 3s,” Morris said. “It wasn’t just in the fourth. They figured out how to get their best players involved.”
Griffin has been dealing with a sore left knee, and Drummond missed a second straight game with left eye inflammation.
The Pistons and Wizards both came into the game averaging 46 points from their reserves — two of the top marks in the NBA. In this game, Washington narrowly won the battle of the benches, 50-49.
“Both teams were out there scrambling and trying to figure out a lineup with all the injuries,” said Wizards coach Scott Brooks, whose team has been missing star guard John Wall all season. “We made enough plays and passed the ball and made some big shots.”
BEEN A WHILE
According to the Play Index at Basketball-Reference.com, this was the most points the Pistons allowed in regulation since 1995, when Seattle scored 134 against Detroit on March 12 and 133 against the Pistons on March 18.
Wizards: Washington went 18 of 33 from beyond the arc in its 17th straight game with at least 10 3-pointers. ... Thomas missed five games with his calf injury. ... Rookie Rui Hachimura left with a groin injury after scoring seven points in 17:01.
Pistons: Bruce Brown scored 20 points, two short of his career high.
Wizards: Host the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday night.
Pistons: Host the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night.
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