The Detroit Pistons and Washington Wizards played a game so up-and-down it would have made Todd Jones proud.
In the end, the Pistons built themselves too big of a hole and weren’t able to complete the 30-point comeback.
Detroit started off the game well with Saben Lee getting his first career start. Lee was active defensively from the tip and showed off his quickness offensively as usual. As is becoming a trend, he passed up far too many open looks but he certainly made things happen when he was on the floor.
When Cory Joseph came off the bench in the first quarter, the wheels fell off. The Wizards went on a 25-8 run to close the first quarter and then won the second quarter by 16.
Notable during that stretch was just how helpless Detroit was with the Joseph-Frank Jackson backcourt. The duo was far too undersized and Russell Westbrook, in particular, exploited the size disparity regularly to fuel the Wizard’s offense.
During that brutal stretch, the Pistons looked tired and as disinterested as they had been all year. The late-night flight from Detroit to Washington looked to be taking its toll.
Halftime hit and the 27-point deficit had most everyone putting on the game on the background.
Then Detroit came out in the third quarter like gangbusters.
Wayne Ellington sparked a run with three straight deep balls. That streak was punctuated by what is becoming a nightly occurrence in a smooth Isaiah Stewart three pointer.
The Pistons got within three in the fourth quarter, but they ran out of gas and Washington finished on yet another run to win the game by 14.
The Wizards were led by Russell Westbrook’s triple-double in the form of 19 points, 19 rebounds, and 10 assists. Wayne Ellington led Detroit in scoring with 15 points while Isaiah Stewart added 11 and eight.
In the midst of the chaos, both teams lost their leading scorers. Bradley Beal left with a bruised hip after scoring 17 points while Jerami Grant exited with a quad bruise. Here’s hoping both are just fine.
- Killian Hayes can’t get back fast enough. The Cory Joseph experiment is off to a rough start. Frank Jackson has clear limitations that force him to the two.
- Josh Jackson is looking increasingly like the player he was before his good first half of the season (when healthy). With Hamidou Diallo playing a similar role, it will be worth monitoring Jackson’s minutes moving forward.
- Speaking of monitoring minutes, Sekou Doumbouya only played five minutes. Tyler Cook saw 16.
- Isaiah Stewart’s ceiling looks higher every time you look up.