Pistons end losing streak with rout of Wizards
Dec 21, 2012 at 9:05p ET
The Wizards came in 3-20 (1-11 on the road) and were playing without John Wall (stress injury left patella), Bradley Beal (sore back), Trevor Booker (strained right knee), Trevor Ariza (strained left calf) and A.J. Price (fractured right hand).
The Pistons didn't waste the golden opportunity for an easy victory, though, and dominated the Wizards, 100-68, to snap a six-game losing streak. It's the fewest points an opponent has scored against the Pistons since they beat the Miami Heat, 85-69, on March 27, 2008.
"Obviously, Washington was a little bit shorthanded," Pistons coach Lawrence Frank said. "But I thought our guys competed and battled, so it's good to taste that winning feeling after losing some games in a row."
Wizards coach Randy Wittman wasn't making any excuses for his team's poor showing.
"That was an embarrassment, and I apologize to our ownership and to our fans," Wittman said. "I especially apologize to anyone who watched that entire game. I would have turned it off after the first five minutes."
If you did turn it off, you missed a solid effort by Pistons rookie Andre Drummond. In just 21 minutes, he had 11 points to go along with 14 rebounds and five blocks, both career highs. Five of his rebounds were offensive.
"With Andre, he played with such great energy and effort, and his size and athleticism can make up for some of the mistakes that he makes," Frank said. "You can't teach what he has.
"Now as he puts it together with the learning curve of most young players, we feel he has a chance to be very, very special."
Drummond certainly had the veteran mindset working after the game -- the first of two straight against the Wizards, who will be the home team Saturday night.
"We play the same team in less than 24 hours, so we just gotta take what we did and move forward into (Saturday's) game and don't let this win get us too excited because we have another one (Saturday)," Drummond said.
The other good thing the Pistons got out of the rout was the chance to rest some players and get everyone else in the game, including Slava Kravtsov.
Kravtsov made his NBA debut at 10:03 of the fourth quarter, when Rodney Stuckey got hit in the teeth and had to leave the game to see the dentist. The Pistons picked Kravtsov to shoot the free throws.
Stuckey didn't lose a tooth and was expected to travel with the team to Washington.
Kravtsov made one of two free throws and then came in again later in the quarter. Will Bynum found him for a dunk, Kravtsov's first NBA basket.
"Slava, it was nice to be able to get him in a game and for him to stay with it and finish with a dunk and finish with a good taste in his mouth," Frank said.
Austin Daye, Kim English and Jonas Jerebko all got to play. Of the starters, only Knight played more than 30 minutes, a good thing when you play again the next night.
"We got ourselves a lead and a lot of guys were able to rest a whole full quarter," said Greg Monroe, who along with Brandon Knight led the team with 15 points. "We are going to look at (Friday night's) game and see what we have to clean up and see what we did good and try to win the game (Saturday)."