Detroit headed to the land of the Wizards on a cold Saturday night in D.C. when the Wizards jumped out of the gate early. Coming off a blowout loss to the hands of the Minnesota Timberwolves in Minnesota, the Wizards, led by John Wall, jumped out to an early 11 point lead not even halfway through the opening quarter as the Piston woes continue on both ends of the court.
John Wall, who finished the first half with a highlight reel fast break jam, ended the second quarter with 18 points and 7 assists. The production from the Wizard backcourt did not end there. Washington shooting guard, who was questionable to play after suffering a scary leg injury in Minnesota, started the game and finally got into a groove at the end of the half. Beal scored 10 of his teams 12 points in a second quarter 12-0 run.
Detroit got bitten by the injury bug early. Not even 3 minutes into Rodney Stuckey’s arrival into the contest, he left as he aggravated that right shoulder injury yet again as he came off a mean pick set by Wizard center Marcin Gortat. Rodney was ruled “OUT” for the rest of the game midway through the second period.
Greg Monroe got the scoring started for the Pistons, scoring the first 8 points for Detroit, but that level of production did not continue. Monroe slowly eased back into the sloppy pick and roll offense the Pistons played throughout the first half. Washington, led by Wall and Beal, took a 62-41 lead heading into the halftime locker room as they outscored Detroit, 31-18.
After the halftime break, the Pistons seemed to pick up their game at the offensive end, matching the Wizards going back-to-back trading hoops, but Detroit could not get stops. The Wizards outscored the Pistons 44-41 in the second half as the Pistons dropped their second straight game to a lesser opponent, losing by a final score of 106-82.
Josh Smith, who played 17 first half minutes, grabbing 4 points and 4 rebounds was benched in the second half as head coach Maurice Cheeks essentially questioned his effort out on the court. The first internal turmoil for the Pistons this season.
Along with the Josh Smith situation, Rodney Stuckey and Brandon Jennings found themselves in some injury woes. After Rodney injured his shoulder in the first half, Brandon Jennings was rocked by an inadvertent elbow by a Wizard player that lead to him leaving the court with what looked like a broken nose.
The good news however, Jennings did return to the game sporting a mask to protect himself.
Detroit travels back to the Motor City as they seek revenge against the Wizards on Monday night at the Palace in the second half of this home-and-home with Washington.