The Washington Wizards dug deep and brought something special for their first home game in more than a week.
Coming off three straight road losses, Washington (16-28) set the tone early in the first half and combined their strong offensive play with an excellent defensive performance for a convincing 106-92 victory over the Detroit Pistons (12-33).
The Wizards played through pick-and-rolls and moving the ball well to set up open looks for their shooters. The defense was stellar as well, holding Detroit to 40 percent from the field and just 3-of-13 from beyond the arc.
Russell Westbrook and Bradley Beal led the scoring for Washington in the first half, both shooting over 50 percent and combining for 32 of the team’s 68 points. D.C. also got some much-needed bench scoring from Daniel Gafford in his Wizards debut. The recently-acquired big man scored on all four of his attempts in the first quarter and finished the game with 13 points on 6-of-7 shooting.
The Wizards went into halftime with a 27-point lead that would eventually go as high as 30 points early in the third, but they’d have to finish the second half without Brad, who left the game early with an injury. No. 3 finished the game with 17 points on 6-of-11 shooting with six assists.
Things got interesting in his stead, as Detroit went on a 25-2 run in the ensuing seven minutes to cut the Wizards lead down to seven in the third quarter. They’d get the lead down to just three points with 10:13 left in the fourth after rookie center Isaiah Stewart scored two quick buckets. The Wiz responded by outscoring the Pistons 24-13 in a 10-minute stretch of lockdown defense and strong play in the paint. The Pistons shot just 27 percent from the field in the fourth quarter, and the front court duo of Robin Lopez and Rui Hachimura each shot a perfect 3-of-3 from the field to put D.C. ahead for good.
The Wizards finished the game with six scorers in double figures, with Westbrook scoring a game-high 19 points to go along with 19 boards and 10 assists for his 15th triple-double of the season. The Pistons were led by Wayne Ellington’s 15 points.
Washington will prepare for two more games at Capital One Arena, taking on the Indiana Pacers and the Charlotte Hornets in a back-to-back on Monday and Tuesday. Both games can be seen on NBC Sports Washington at 7:00 p.m.
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