Pistons lose nailbiter to Wizards, 107-103
WASHINGTON — After the first quarter Wednesday night, Detroit guard Brandon Jennings had 16 points and the Washington Wizards trailed by 10.
John Wall wasn’t worried.
"Anybody can get hot at any time. You’ve just got to change up your defensive concepts and take the ball out of his hands," Wall said.
Even though Jennings finished with 32, the Wizards beat the Pistons 107-103 behind another big game from Wall.
Jennings had just two points in the fourth quarter.
"I didn’t think the kid was going to miss," Washington coach Randy Wittman said. "He carried them in that first half."
In the second half, the Wizards did much better.
"Wasn’t real pleased at halftime, defensively," Wittman said. "We weren’t sharp. We weren’t aggressive. We didn’t dictate play. They dictated play."
Wall had 27 points and 11 assists. He hit 13 of his 16 free throws.
"I thought we were a little undisciplined. He was just full speed out of control, throwing up stuff that didn’t have much chance of going in and we kept fouling," Detroit coach Stan Van Gundy said.
The teams traded the lead on five consecutive baskets before Wall’s jumper with 1:11 to play put the Wizards ahead 101-100. Marcin Gortat, who had 13 points and 14 rebounds, dunked with 38 seconds to play to give Washington a three-point lead.
Rasual Butler had 18 points for the Wizards. His two free throws with 4 seconds to play put Washington ahead 107-103. Butler made seven of his eight field goal attempts.
Wizards: Washington is off to a 6-2 start for the first time since the 1975-76 season. … Their bench outscored Detroit’s 39-25.
Pistons: Lost for the third straight time and their fourth consecutive road game. . Scored over 100 for the first time this season. … F Luigi Datome missed his fifth straight game with a strained right hamstring.
THE BUTLER DID IT
It was not a sure thing that Butler would make the team in training camp. He beat out three other NBA veterans for his place on the roster.
"I came here with the mindset of wanting to make the team. Nothing’s guaranteed. Things worked out," Butler said.
Pistons C Andre Drummond, who averaged nearly 12 rebounds in the team’s first seven games, was a non-factor. Drummond had just three shots, scoring two points and five rebounds in 23 minutes. He didn’t play in the last five minutes.
Gortat’s first NBA coach was Van Gundy when both were with Orlando. In 2007-08, Gortat, newly arrived from Poland, frustrated his coach.
"I made some off-hand comment, `Maybe I need to speak Polish.’" Van Gundy said. "He went out and got me Rosetta Stone, Polish. I never opened it up and listened to it, but I still have the box.
Wizards: Host Orlando on Saturday.
Pistons: At Thunder on Friday.