During the third quarter, I thought I'd be cutting and pasting an old song here to explain how the Pistons lost. The Pistons were well on their way to allowing another 40-point quarter, giving up 17 points in just the first four minutes of the third and falling behind by as many as 10 points despite having an eight point lead at the half.
Then Will Bynum took over and scored the final nine points for the Pistons in the third and pulled them back to within two heading into the fourth.
As I said, Detroit led by eight at the half, but the Wizards carried the momentum into the locker room and third quarter due to the strong play of recently signed Earl Boykins and a buzzer beating three pointer by Gilbert Arenas to end the first half.
In the fourth quarter, it was seesaw basketball, but the Pistons put the defensive clamps down on Washington in the final five minutes, allowing just one bucket, and Detroit hit big baskets when they needed them to prevail 106-103.
Ben Gordon's running bank shot with 1:44 to go put the Pistons ahead for good, and he then sealed the deal with three free throws and another jumper with less than a minute remaining. He ended the night with a game-high 29 points on 10-21 shooting. He was 5-8 from three-point range. Charlie Villanueva added 25 points on almost an identical shooting night (10-21, but 4-7 from downtown ). CV also had seven rebounds, two blocks, and two steals.
Earl Boykins, the veteran 5'5" recent signee, nearly carried the Wizards to victory, though. They seemed like a completely different team when he was on the floor, all over the place, making plays happen, and scoring. He had 20 points on 7-12 shooting, Mike Miller, back after missing three games with a shoulder injury, also had 20 points. Agent Zero, added 19 points, six of them coming from a buzzer beater at the end of the first half and a meaningless three near the end of regulation.
Detroit improves to 5-4, the first time they've been above .500 since last March. The Wizards fell to 2-7 and are currently on a six game losing streak.
More notes/thoughts after the jump:
- Rodney Stuckey and Will Bynum continue to complement each other nicely. Stuckey had 17 points, nine rebounds, and four assists. Will Bynum had 20 points, eight rebounds, and six assists.
- Charlie Villanueva fouled out in the fourth quarter. He fouled out five times last year, but I'd like to think his fouls are a result of him putting in the extra effort on the defensive side of things. It could also be a result of him getting beat and having to compensate by fouling.
- Nothing but a rebound from Austin Daye and DaJuan Summers in eight combined minutes.
- Big Ben was great again. Seven rebounds and two blocked shots. One block came in the fourth quarter when Haywood looked like he was going to have an easy layup and put the Wizards up five with four minutes left.
- Opponents were shooting just 28% from three-point range against the Pistons coming into tonight, but the Wizards shot 53% from beyond the arc. They were shooting 70% from there after three quarters.
- It was the second time this season the Pistons have scored above 100 points. It was the third they have allowed 100+.
- Detroit outrebounded the Wiz, 44-43. It is the fourth time this season the Pistons have outrebounded their opponent.
- Not much time to enjoy this one as the Pistons had to fly back to Detroit immediately after the game to prep for a game vs. the 6-3 Mavericks tomorrow evening. Tip off is slated for 6:00 PM EST.