Washington led by as many as 15 points at the 10:15 mark of the fourth quarter. But the Pistons regained the lead 104-102 with less than five minutes to go in the game after an extended 21-4 run.
Both teams struggled with sloppy play in the closing minutes, but John Wall knocked down two free-throws with one second left to ice the game as the Wizards would hang on for the win at home.
It wasn’t pretty, but Washington is now 2-0 on this young season.
Otto Porter has a huge first half
Porter turned in one of the best halves of his career with 20 points on 9-13 shooting in the first half. He did most of his scoring in the midrange, slashing to the hole, and was the beneficiary of passes from Wall and Tim Frazier which led to easy dunks.
But it wasn’t just on the offensive end. To no one’s surprise, Porter was engaged on the defensive end (a rarity among Washington players in the first half) and forced three steals.
Many were split on if Porter deserved a max deal this offseason. Performances like this one show why he’s worth it.
Washington has a big third quarter but can’t pull away
Washington outscored the Pistons 33-16 in the third quarter including going 5-6 from three-point range. After a fairly quiet first half, both John Wall and Bradley Beal were able to get going offensively as the duo combined for 18 points in the period. The Wizards picked things up defensively and outrebounded the Pistons by nine in the quarter as well.
The bench was good enough tonight
The bench teased us a bit in the Philadelphia game but they were only so-so tonight. Kelly Oubre was promoted to a starter with Smith out due to injury which made an already thin bench, that much thinner. The reserves combined for just nine points through the first 24 minutes and were outscored 38 to 22 by their Detroit counterparts for the game.
Tim Frazier was brought in to backup Wall but looks pretty gun shy about his role with the team so far. Frazier is looking to get guys set up which is good but is a non-threat offensively as he rarely even looks at the rim. The Wizards are going to need more from Frazier as the season progresses.
After seeing all-bench lineups struggle against the 76ers on Wednesday night, Brooks always kept at least one starter on the floor tonight.
Oubre stays within himself in starting role
Many were quick to say that Kelly Oubre had ‘arrived’ after a terrific first game of the season against Philly. However, Oubre was mostly a non-factor tonight in his first start of the season, but that’s OK. He played within himself and didn’t force anything that wasn’t there. He made up for it as he was good enough defensively on a night where his shot wasn't there.
Outside shooting is still quiet
Three-point shooting remains a mystery for this squad. Washington attempted just 14 three-point attempts tonight connecting on only six, with five coming in the third quarter. Keep an eye out for this as the Wizards were shooting threes at a much higher rate last season.
- John Wall worked on his step-back jumper this offseason. We could tell.
- The Wizards opted to wear their red uniforms instead of their home whites. They’ll be doing that more this season now that the NBA allows for more flexibility with how teams use their uniforms. They’ll break them out again on November 3 when the Cavaliers come to town.
Next up: The Wizards kick off a four-game road trip with a game in Denver on Monday at 9 p.m.