In their first game back stateside since the trip to London, the Washington Wizards relied on their defense to get them past the visiting Detroit Pistons 101-87. Trevor Ariza led a very balanced scoring night for the home team, he showed off his well-rounded game with a line of 20 points, 12 rebounds, and four assists. Every member of the starting five scored at least 10 points and Otto Porter Jr. showed out in his sixth man role since returning from injury(19 points).
Blake Griffin had a huge game for Detroit, but he didn’t get much help as the Washington defense clamped down on the other Pistons. Griffin had 29 points and nine rebounds, knocking down three triples in the process. The Pistons shot just 40% for the game, most of that had to due with the better percentages coming in the second half.
The Wizards got out to a big start, fueled by their defense. They were able to sustain it for nearly the entire game. Outside of the third quarter, the Washington defense really made it tough on the Pistons.
Several different players had good numbers in the third though. Blake scored 16 of his team’s 30 points, he shot six of seven from the field including a perfect four-of-four from beyond the arc. Washington was able to get over a heavy turnover laden quarter because of Ariza’s 10 points in the period. Him asserting himself didn’t hurt, especially with it coinciding with Beal’s nine point quarter.
The Pistons did try and make a final run, cutting the once 20 point lead to 12 at one point. Washington was in a mini slump at the time, but Beal found a cutting Thomas Bryant and Washington was able to steady the ship.
Up next for Washington are the reigning NBA Champion Golden State Warriors, they visit Capital One on Thursday.
Defense. From the opening tip to the final buzzer, outside of a few rough stretches in the third quarter Washington seemed connected on defense. We’ll see how long this can continue, but it was definitely impressive to see.
Porter. Otto is starting to get back into form, him coming off the bench has really balanced out this team in it’s current iteration. Porter had 19 points on seven on 15 shooting. More importantly he attacked the mismatches as they came, picking on smaller guards anytime the opportunity presented itself. He and Sam Dekker scored all but two of the team’s 32 bench points.
Bryant. He didn’t have a huge game, but he had a solid game. His 11 points and 12 rebounds allowed Washington to hold a 45-40 edge on the glass. Thomas offensive game continues to evolve as well. He hit midrange jumpers, touch shots around the rim and even attacked out of a few face up situations.