The Washington Wizards’ contest against the Detroit Pistons started playing out a lot like their previous loss to the Sacramento Kings.
D.C. raced to an early double-digit lead in the first half and let it slowly slip away. The Pistons closed the second quarter on a 22-10 run to tie the game at 50 going into the break.
The difference tonight was that Kyle Kuzma wasn’t going to stay dormant. After scoring just five points in the second half against the Kings, Kuzma poured in 17 in the third quarter alone and finished with a team-high 23 points. That keyed a 14-4 Wizards run to close the period and enter the final frame with a nine-point lead.
Ish Smith and Deni Avdija combined for a much-needed jolt off the bench. Smith constantly pushed the pace and made a ton of hustle plays to help energize Washington. Avdija played arguably his most physical game, relentlessly attacking the rim and the glass for 12 points and a career-high 15 rebounds.
Washington pulled off the 103-94 win, but it wasn’t without casualty. Rui Hachimura suffered a right ankle sprain and was forced out of the game after a flagrant contest from Marvin Bagley III in the second quarter.
Rui Hachimura just left for the locker room with a Wizards trainer. He seemed to hurt his right foot/ankle when Marvin Bagley III stepped under him on a corner 3 that was ruled a flagrant foul.— Chase Hughes (@ChaseHughesNBCS) February 15, 2022
The Wizards will look to carry over some of the momentum from this game to a road contest against the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday.