The Wizards picked up their second straight win with an impressive 122-108 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Friday night. John Wall and Bradley Beal led the way and made their presence felt, combining for 54 points on 30 shots.
This game felt a lot like the two meetings the Wizards and Pistons had at the Verizon Center late last season. They traded baskets throughout the first quarter, playing to a 27-27 tie. In the second quarter, they started to inch away as they took an 11 point lead into halftime. Then, in the third quarter they slammed on the gas and never looked back.
Wall and Beal led the way on the offensive end, but the frontcourt played a big part in the win as well. Marcin Gortat, Markieff Morris, and Otto Porter combined to hold their counterparts Andre Drummond, Marcus Morris, and Tobias Harris to a combined 29 points on 31 shots.
Don’t look now, but the Wizards have won five of their last seven games and are now within striking distance of a playoff spot, though they’ve got a challenging game coming up Sunday afternoon against the Los Angeles Clippers.
Here’s what else we learned in the Wizards’ win:
Washington shows they can get it done against a talented defense
In previous years, the Wizards have generally feasted on weak defenses and struggled mightily against the good ones. Over the past two games, they’ve put up two very good performances against two of the best defenses in the league. After putting up 109 on the Hornets (currently 8th in Defensive Rating) on Wednesday, they dropped 122 on the Pistons, who came into Friday’s game with the second best Defensive Rating in the league.
Games like this are huge because they show they’re starting to turn the corner from being a team that just looks good when they can out-talent their opponents into one that can actually go toe-to-toe with some of the better defenses in the league. It will be interesting to see how they fare against the fourth-ranked Clippers.
Brother on brother humiliation
Well, this is going to make the Morris family gift exchange a little weird.
Sharing the wealth
In Wednesday’s win over the Hornets, John Wall and Bradley Beal were the only two players who had more than two assists. In Friday’s win, everyone got in on the action. All five starters had at least 3 assists against the Detroit. They also got a pair of assists from Trey Burke and Tomas Satoransky. Wall and Beal’s numbers will grab the immediate spotlight, but they didn’t do it all by themselves in this one.