Kuzma has 32 points and 12 rebounds as Wizards end 9-game losing streak with rout of Pistons
DETROIT — Kyle Kuzma had 32 points and 12 rebounds as the Washington Wizards ended a nine-game losing streak with a 126-107 rout of the Detroit Pistons on Monday in a battle of the NBA’s worst teams.
“My childhood dream was about playing on this court,” said Kuzma, who grew up about an hour north of Little Caesars Arena. “It’s always good to get a chance to play at home in front of my friends and family.”
Washington (3-14) won for the first time since a 132-116 victory over the Charlotte Hornets on Nov. 8.
The Pistons (2-15) have lost 14 straight after beating the Chicago Bulls 118-102 on Oct. 28. Williams said his team needed to grow up in terms of maturity and discipline.
“That wasn’t fight on the floor,” Williams said in a brief postgame news conference. “That wasn’t Pistons basketball by any stretch of the imagination. That’s what this is — we have to have people that honor the organization and the jersey by competing at a high level every night. I’m not talking about execution, just competing. That wasn’t it, and that’s on me.”
Kuzma, who spent the day before the game delivering charitable donations in his home city of Flint, added eight assists while committing two turnovers. Deni Avdija and Danilo Gallinari scored 16 for the Wizards.
Cade Cunningham led the Pistons with 26 points and seven assists. Jalen Duren had 12 points and 14 rebounds as Detroit fell to 4-38 since last season’s trade deadline.
“There are a lot of little things we can talk about, but we just didn’t play hard,” Isaiah Livers said. “Every team has roles, and it feels like none of us are playing our roles to the best of our abilities.”
Tyus Jones scored eight points in the first five minutes of the third to put Washington up 71-63, and Kuzma took over at that point. He finished the quarter with 18 points and seven rebounds as the Wizards led by as many as 14.
Washington led 94-83 at the end of the quarter, then scored the first five points of the fourth. Detroit never got the deficit back to single digits.
The teams combined to hit just 24.2% (8-33) 3-pointers in the first half with the Pistons going 3-16 (18.8%).