Game Report 27: Wizards 106 Pistons 82

THE GAME TURNED WHEN… After falling behind by 11 in the first quarter, the Pistons battled back to trail by five, 42-37. However, the Wizards went wild from that point, outscoring Detroit 20-4 until halftime, including a 12-0 run when Detroit failed to score in the last 4:53 of the second quarter. Both John Wall and Bradley Beal scored 10 points in the quarter and they delivered the coup de grace, with Beal hitting two 3-pointers down the stretch and Wall finishing the first half with a reverse dunk to put the Wizards up 62-41 at the break.

THE GAME WAS OVER WHEN… the Pistons came out in the second half and couldn’t cut into the Washington lead. Of course, the Wiz had something to do with that, as they remained hot and focused all night. The second-half meltdown that has become such a distinctive part of the Wizards’ identity over the years never showed up tonight and they never led by less than 19 in the second half.

THE GOOD… A night after being carried off the floor in agony, shooting guard Bradley Beal looked fine and healthy, starting the game and playing 20 solid minutes tonight. Beal hit 3 of 4 from beyond the arc and hit half his 12 shots to score 15 points. He also shared the ball well, dishing 4 assists.

The Wizards treated DC fans to a coast-to-coast win tonight, looking like the superior team during the entire game. They shot 50% from the field, outscored Detroit in each of the first three quarters and won the boards 46-38. Good Wizards defense held the Pistons to just 40% shooting, less than the 47% the Wiz shot on 3-pointers. 

John Wall has scored at least 20 points in the last six games, a record for him.

Washington’s 24-point win was the biggest margin of victory for the Wiz wo

34 assists for the Wiz tonight, their highest total of the season to date. In addition to Wall’s 11 dishes, Trevor Ariza had 6 assists and Bradley Beal and Trevor Booker both chipped in with 4 dimes. After having only 18 assists all last night against the Timberwolves, the Wiz had 20 in the first half tonight.

Washington’s starting front line outscored Detroit’s starting front line 41 to 22 and beat them on the board 21-16.

Trevor Ariza and the rest of the team drove Detroit’s Josh Smith nuts tonight, forcing him to miss 5 of his 7 shots in just 18 minutes.

Washington got 30 points from its bench tonight and while nobody had a huge game

All five Wizards starters scored in double figures tonight and 11 of 12 players scored, with Eric Maynor not contributing any points in 4 minutes on the court.

I love the energy and contributions from Trevor Booker, who moved into the starting lineup during the injury absence of Nene Hilario and has kept the job, at least so long as Nene’s minutes are limited. [Don’t hold your breath for Nene to be taken off a minutes limit.] Booker hit 5 of 8 shots for 10 points and grabbed 9 rebounds. He more or less held his own against Greg Monroe, which translates into a big advantage for the Wiz.

THE BAD… 17 turnovers by the Wizards is too many. That’s about it. 

THE UGLY… Uh, can’t think of anything too ugly about this game for a Wizards fan.  If you’re a Pistons fan, your mileage may vary.

THE STAR… John Wall [8-14/20/1/11/2/+24] was fantastic again. It wasn’t just the good shooting, the 20 points [again] and the 11 assists to only 2 turnovers, it’s also the defense. Wall harassed Brandon Jennings into missing 9 of his 13 shots and committing 7 turnovers. While he won’t get the votes he deserves to win the starting spot in the All Star Game, Wall is definitely playing like the best point guard in the eastern conference right now. This was Wall’s tenth double-double of the season.

THE STUDS… Trevor Ariza did it all tonight, scoring 15 points on 11 shots and draining 4 of 6 from behind the arc. Ariza also filled up the stat sheet with 5 rebounds, 6 dimes, 3 steals and a game-high +30 court ratio. He also played great defense, which isn’t so unusual for Ariza. And he did all this in only 26 minutes. 

After struggling with his offense in recent games, center Marcin Gortat had a big night, hitting 7 of 9 shots and scoring 16 points to go with his 7 rebounds. Gortat was huge early, scoring 10 of his points in the first quarter and pacing the Wiz to their 11-point advantage in the first quarter.

THE DUDS… Martell Webster didn’t have it tonight, missing 8 of 11 shots and committing 4 turnovers in 25 minutes. Webster played some good defense, but his offense was AWOL tonight. 

THE BENCHWARMERS… Nobody. The big margin allowed coach Randy Wittman to clear his bench. 

THE QUOTES… “We got back a little bit of our identity that I thought we lost last night… We can only play one way and that’s a physical presence on the floor. Tonight, that was more the team we had to be… It was a good bounce-back win for us after a disappointing game for us last night… Putting bodies on people, guards coming in and putting bodies on people to help out… We’re making progress in a lot of areas… [Bradley Beal] said there was no lingering thing from what happened to him last night… [Marcin Gortat] has got to run to the basket. If he doesn’t want to shoot 15-foot jump shots, don’t roll to 15 feet.”

AND WHAT IT ALL MEANS… The Wizards improve to 13-14 and have won four of their last five games. Satisfyingly, the Wiz finally broke a 7-game losing streak to the Pistons. John Wall is playing like a true star and Bradley Beal is apparently not in bad shape after his tough knee bruise against the Timberwolves on Friday night. The Wiz snapped a 4-game home losing streak and now must prepare to beat the Pistons again when they meet them in Detroit on Monday.

Below are some video highlights of the game.