After being down by double-digits, the Washington Wizards showed some resiliency and continued to chip away at the Detroit Pistons‘ lead on the road. John Wall scored 20+ points for the seventh consecutive time tonight and the Pistons fell apart late in the game. Road wins are difficult to come by in the NBA, but the Wizards have continuously shown improvement away from home. The Pistons came out strong right out of the gate, but John Wall and Co. were simply too much to handle for the home team. Here are the Bullet Points:
- Washington outrebounded the Pistons on Saturday, but that wasn’t the case tonight. Greg Monroe scored 22 points along side 10 rebounds, while Andre Drummond chipped in with 16 points and 16 rebounds. Thankfully for the Wizards, Drummond picked up 5 fouls and the Pistons weren’t able to take advantage of his size when they needed him the most. Marcin Gortat and Trevor Booker combined for just 8 rebounds on the night. I think it’s safe to say Gortat had trouble dealing with Drummond’s athleticism.
- Even though Washington’s bigs struggled in the rebounding area, Trevor Ariza picked up the slack with 11 rebounds. He also added 15 points, 4 assists, and 6 steals (!!!). Ariza made some bad passes and gambles tonight, but he played well for the most part. He’s consistently been one of Washington’s better players.
- The Wizards got some much needed bench contribution from some unlikely players tonight. Otto Porter scored 7 points on 3 of 4 shooting from the field in just 10 minutes of action. He’s always been good on the defensive side, but it’s nice to finally see him get comfortable with the offense. Porter is very good at cutting and finding open shots and he contributed to Washington’s comeback in the fourth quarter. Kevin Seraphin and Garrett Temple also made some big plays down the stretch. Although Nene closed the game for Washington instead of Booker, he also added 10 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists off the bench. He also threw down a monster jam in the fourth quarter that helped change the momentum.
- Now to the star of the show: John Wall. We’re used to seeing Wall play at a high level, especially this season, but he’s definitely gaining ground as the best point guard in the East. Wall scored 29 points to go along with 7 assists and he completely dominated the game in crunch time. Jennings put up a good fight with 15 points (on 16 shot attempts) with 14 assists, but Wall continuously scored the ball at will in the fourth quarter. There were multiple possessions where the Pistons shut Washington’s offense down, but Wall still managed to create his own shot. He sealed the game with a elbow jump shot after getting Jennings to bite on a fake. Terrific game for Johnny Basketball.
There were multiple times in the game where it seemed all but over for the Wizards.
Washington continued to scrap away at the lead until they eventually got a lead of their own. Martell Webster hit a crucial three in the final moments of the game to give Washington a two-point lead, and it was all downhill from there for the Pistons. Even though the big men weren’t great tonight, the Wizards showed no sign of discouragement and went on to find a way to win.
The Wizards will be back in the nation’s capital on Wednesday night against the Dallas Mavericks. They’ll have a chance to go over .500 for the first time this season.