The Wizards connected on four of their first six shots to start the game, but after that they went cold from the field including a four minute stretch towards the end of the first quarter where they didn’t score a field goal.
Washington never really got things going in the second quarter as the Pistons took a 61-55 lead into halftime.
After the Wizards trimmed the lead to three early in the second half, the Pistons used a 13-3 run to stretch the lead out to 74-61. It looked like it just wasn’t going to be the Wizards’ night.
Trailing by 16 entering the fourth quarter, the Wizards flipped the switch. After trading buckets for most of the third quarter, they started stringing together some stops. Trey Burke and Jason Smith hit some big shots early in the fourth quarter as the Wizards went on an 11-2 run to cut the lead down to seven as the starters re-entered the game for the final stretch.
With under two minutes to play, Andre Drummond fell down at the most inopportune time as Wall found Morris for an alley-oop that gave the Wizards a 110-109 lead. A minute later, after forcing a Pistons miss, Wall found Beal in transition as he went up for a dunk and took a nasty fall. Beal picked himself up and calmly knocked down the free throws to give the Wizards a 112-111 lead.
Then, with just seconds to play, Detroit ran a play where Reggie Jackson swung the ball to Tobias Harris, who drove baseline and missed, only to have Marcus Morris tip the ball in as time expired.
Seven Wizards players scored in double figures tonight led by John Wall and Markieff Morris with 19 points apiece. Here’s what else we noticed in the loss:
Fourth quarter comeback
The Wizards looked dead in the water entering the fourth quarter as they trailed by 16. You couldn’t blame Brooks if he opted to rest the starters the rest of the game. But after the bench trimmed the lead back to seven, he brought the starters back in for the final stretch.
The Wizards got stops when they needed to, turned the Pistons over four times in the period, and hit their free-throws down the stretch. The Wizards outscored the Pistons 30-15 in the period, but unfortunately they were outscored by 16 in the other three quarters.
Smith and Oubre continue to provide a spark
Jason Smith and Kelly Oubre continued their consistency off the bench tonight. Smith came in and drilled a corner three late in the first quarter to stop a 9-0 Pistons run. He knocked down another three from that same corner later in the half en route to 10 first half points on 4-6 shooting. He finished with 16 points for the night.
Oubre did what he does best and turned defense into offense. Right when he checked in, Oubre stole a pass and turned it into an easy dunk on the other end. He did the same to start the second quarter. He finished the night with 11 points.
Bradley Beal stays cold
Outside of layups and dunks, Beal couldn’t get much else going. Beal scored 17 points, but only connected on just four of his 15 field goal attempts and was 0-7 on threes. The Pistons bothered Beal at times, but many of his shots were wide-open. He curled off screens, used Gortat on dribble hand-offs, but nothing seemed to get Beal going and you could see it all night long in his body language.