The Washington Wizards can take a deep sigh of relief, the six game losing streak is over. Despite an impressive rally from the Detroit Pistons, the Wizards were able to hold on for a 99-95 win. Of course, in true Wizards fashion, it had to be interesting.
After giving up a 21 point lead, the Wizards found themselves up one point with ten seconds left. Bradley Beal who had been out for eight games with right leg injury, headed to the line with a chance to extend that Washington lead. Beal hit the first shot from the line, but he missed the second. Fortunately for him it was tipped back out to John Wall, who was immediately fouled and sent to the line. Wall hit both shots, cementing the Wizards lead and giving them the win.
Paul Pierce also returned to the lineup after missing the past two contests with a bruised right knee. The Wizards benefited from having both of their floor spacers back. With Beal and Pierce on the floor, it opened up more room for the Washington bigs to operate and both did just that. Beal didn’t have a great night, but his presence definitely impacted the game. Pierce on the other hand, filled up the stat sheet. The veteran had 14 points, five rebounds, and five assists last night. More importantly, he was dialed in from long range as he hit four of his eight attempts from beyond the arc.
Gortat finished with 16 points and 17 rebounds, Nene had 21 points and seven rebounds. The two did an outstanding job competing with Detroit’s front line, in the last matchup the Wizards bigs got destroyed by the Monroe-Drummond duo. That matchup was much different last night as the battle of the bigs was very close to even. At least for one night, the spacing issue didn’t appear to be fatal.
Another department in which the Wizards have fallen extremely short lately is turnovers, they also kept that under control against the Pistons, committing just 12 to Detroit’s 17. Washington didn’t play stellar defense as evident by the squandering of a 21 point lead.
Washington needs to replicate last night’s formula, minus the squandering of the lead to get back on track. The victory against Detroit was a great step in the right direction, but consistency is key in both areas the Wizards struggle with. Those being turning the ball over and poor spacing on the offensive end.