Detroit Pistons spanked in Washington, 101-87
By STEPHEN WHYNO
AP Sports Writer
WASHINGTON– Exchanging their freewheeling ways for an improved defensive showing, the Washington Wizards looked like an entirely different team in their first game back from London.
The Wizards turned in their best defensive performance of the season on Monday afternoon in beating the Detroit Pistons 101-87. Even though Blake Griffin put up a game-high 29 points, Detroit’s scoring output was the lowest by a Washington opponent this year.
That’s a major step forward for the NBA’s second-worst defensive team.
“It was just effort,” said Bradley Beal, who scored 16 points. “It’s just a matter of being locked in, locking in to the game plan. We let Blake get a little comfortable, but for the most part we did a good job of taking all their actions away and making it difficult for them.”
Washington held Detroit to 30 percent shooting in the first half and never let their lead dip below 10 points in the second. The Wizards limited the Pistons to two offensive rebounds and had seven players in double figures, led by Trevor Ariza with 20 and Otto Porter Jr. with 19 off the bench.
Pistons coach Dwane Casey was hoping players would drink a gallon of coffee to be ready for the 2 p.m. start. Instead, Detroit scored 17 points in the first quarter and was never able to recover.
“I thought we just came out with low energy,” Griffin said. “Games like this you got to find a way, weird time, you just got to find a way to have better energy.”
The Pistons have lost two in a row and 10 of their past 14.