The Washington Wizards defeated the Detroit Pistons, 99-95, on Saturday night at the Verizon Center in Washington, breaking a six-game losing streak. Marcin Gortat scored 16 points and pulled down 17 rebounds for Washington, including a key rebound off a missed free throw that enabled the Wizards to ice the game after blowing a 21-point third quarter lead.
The Wizards had their biggest lead at 66-48 on Paul Pierce’s three-pointer with 8:58 left in the third quarter. The Pistons whittled the lead down to ten going into the fourth quarter at 80-70.
The Pistons further cut the lead down to one with a 9-0 run just over three minutes into the quarter. Then the Pistons took their first lead at 85-84 on Spencer Dinwiddie’s putback dunk off his own miss with 6:44 left. The Pistons exchanged baskets with Wizards free throws as the lead changed hands five times before the Wizards finally seized the lead for good at 90-89 on a pair of Gortat free throws with 4:45 left.
John Wall’s layup gave the Wizards a five-point lead with 58 seconds left at 96-91. Greg Monroe’s layup followed by a Dinwiddie steal and layup brought the Pistons to within one at 96-95 when they fouled Bradley Beal with ten seconds left.
Beal made the first free throw but missed the second. Gortat tipped the rebound back to Wall, who was fouled and sank his two free throws with 7.3 seconds left to give the Wizards their final margin of victory.
The Wizards jumped out to a 31-17 lead in the first quarter behind strong frontcourt play from Gortat and Nene, who combined for 14 of those points.
Gortat’s layup 17 seconds before halftime gave the Wizards a 60-44 lead. Drew Gooden’s four jumpers, including a three-pointer, were instrumental in helping the Wizards extend their lead. Pierce hitting four out of his eight three-point shot attempts was also key.
Wall led the Wizards with 22 points while Nene added 21. Beal scored eight points on 2of 10 shooting in his first game back in the starting lineup after missing eight games because of injury. Pierce was also returning after missing two games to injury.
Greg Monroe led the Pistons with 21 points and 10 rebounds while Dinwiddie contributed 20 points and eight assists off the bench.