July 15, 2020

Washington Wizards Game 1 Wrap: Wizards’ rally falls short in season opener

Old habits die hard and, on Wednesday night, the Washington Wizards of new looked much like the Wiz Kids of old in their 113-102 loss to the Detroit Pistons.

It was not John Wall or Bradley Beal who helped carry the Wizards in their comeback attempt after trailing by as many as 15 points, rather, it was Trevor Ariza who provided the most momentum with 28 points by day’s end, including six shots from behind the arc.

Wall came up with 20 points and 11 assists for Washington and Beal added another 17 and two respectively, but it was largely defense that dashed Washington’s hopes early against a revamped Detroit squad.

Detroit handed Washington plenty of opportunities on early turnovers, but as Wall & co. tried to push back in the second half, so, too, did Washington gift the Pistons opportunities.

Halfway through the third quarter, the Wizards pulled within single digits of catching Detroit, but Greg Monroe was too quick to catch throughout. By the end of the night, Detroit’s player-of-the-game recorded 24 points and 16 rebounds.

After entering the fourth quarter down 81-73, Al Harrington and Marcin Gortat came up with timely free throws to help the Wizards keep things close. Martell Webster added another two free shots before Gortat made a bucket to veer right onto Detroit’s path, trailing 89-85.

But, the newly returned Chauncey Billups had an answer that would lay to rest comeback hopes. Billups sank back-to-back baskets from 26 and 27 feet respectively before Josh Smith’s three powered the Pistons to a 103-89 lead with five minutes left to play.

Wall and Beal did their best to lead the Wizards back in it, but the effort proved too little too late. In the end, the Pistons outscored the Wizards by a crushing 32-8 advantage in the paint. As such, Detroit powered to a 113-102 win at The Palace of Auburn Hills, further delaying the Wizards’ hopes to showcase a playoff-bound squad.

About Alyssa Wolice

Alyssa Wolice is a Staff Writer for District Sports Page covering the Nationals and Wizards. As a former production assistant, she covered the Nationals, Redskins, Capitals, Wizards, D.C. United and local collegiate teams. You can follow Alyssa on Twitter @awolice.

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