Everybody gets in the act as Pistons take out frustration, drub Washington
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Three quick observations from Thursday night’s 132-102 win over the Washington Wizards at Little Caesars Arena
A WELCOME WIN – Sitting on five straight losses and facing a six-game road trip next, it was about as much of a must-win situation for the Pistons as it gets before the season reaches its mid-point – if not for their playoff viability, then at least for their psyche. The Pistons had the right opponent for the task in Washington, perhaps the only team in the league with an even more daunting injury situation than their own. The Wizards used three players who weren’t even on their roster when they won at Little Caesars just last week. In that game, Washington scored 43 points in the first quarter and put up 133 for the game, both season worsts for the Pistons defensively. This time around, Washington scored 48 in the first half and trailed by 30 after three quarters. The Pistons got 33 first-half points off of their bench in taking a 20-point halftime lead. The Pistons took 48 3-point attempts, a season high, and made 19, also a season high. Eight Pistons scored in double figures led by Christian Wood with 22 points. Tim Frazier hit 5 of 6 from the 3-point arc and finished with 17 points, six assists and just one turnover. The 132 points tied the Pistons season high.
KENNARD UPDATE – The knee tendinitis that’s plagued Luke Kennard off and on since training camp escalated to the point where he’s been shut down for two weeks. The Pistons said they’re shooting for a Jan. 7 return, which means Kennard will miss at least five more games. Kennard has experienced pain in both knees and had previously missed games on Dec. 4 vs. Milwaukee, last Friday at Boston and Monday’s home loss to Philadelphia with the same affliction. Bruce Brown missed his first game of the season on Monday, experiencing soreness in both calf muscles, but returned and came off of the bench against Washington. He scored 10 first-half points and finished with 12 points, five rebounds and five assists, playing at shooting guard instead of at point guard where he’s spent the bulk of his time this season since Reggie Jackson’s injury.
REBOUND TURNAROUND – After their worst three rebounding games of the season came consecutively in the preceding three games, the Pistons looked like they were going to make it four in a row. Washington grabbed nine offensive rebounds while outrebounding the Pistons 18-12 in Thursday’s first quarter, but by the end of the third quarter the Pistons had surged to a 40-34 advantage. It finished 48-44 in their favor. Blake Griffin wound up with a season-high 11 rebounds in 26 minutes. Andre Drummond had 10 rebounds in 24 minutes. Both Drummond and Griffin scored 14 points. Christian Wood added seven rebounds to go with his 22 points. The Pistons were outrebounded by 15 in last week’s loss at Boston and by 17 and 18 in home losses to Chicago and Philadelphia before Christmas. They allowed 13, 11 and 17 offensive rebounds in those games.