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Wizards use big third quarter to beat Pistons, 109-91
Morris, Satoransky shine in Wizards' big home win
The Wizards started the third quarter on a 17-0 run en route to an 109-91 victory at Capital One Arena. Tomas Satoransky scored a career-high 17 points and Markieff Morris scored a season-high 23 points to lead the Wizards to victory. Washington out-rebounded Andre Drummond and the Pistons 49-32 and outscored them in the paint 54-38. The Wizards' defense in the second half won the game, holding the Pistons to 36.6% shooting and forcing eight turnovers for 10 points. At the end of the first quarter, the Wizards announced that the team's G League affiliate, coming in 2018-19, will be called the Capital City Go Go.Photos | Box Score
The Wizards and Pistons were locked into a back-and-forth battle in the first quarter, finishing tied at 26-26 to conclude the opening period. Washington went to Keef Morris early and often, as the Wizards wanted to take advantage of his matchup against the smaller Tobias Harris. Morris would make his first three shots of the game for seven points in the quarter, and finish the game 10-of-16 shooting for 23 points and seven rebounds. After missing time earlier the season from recovering from sports hernia surgery, Morris was the anchor for the Wizards offensively from start to finish on Friday night.
"He came out and played with the force that we saw many times last year," Scott Brooks said postgame. "By playing hard it gives you a chance to play well, and I thought he did that tonight with coming back from his surgery. I think that's behind him. He knows that with John [Wall] out, that we're down a man and he needs to, not take over the scoring, but participate and get involved more of the scoring. And then defensively, I think he did a great job, and he's guarding a guy that's playing like an All-Star in Tobias [Harris]. He's a hard guy to guard."
Detroit started to take control of the game in the second quarter, shooting 52.6% from the field and holding the Wizards to only 30.8%. The Wizards' bench did its job to start the second, but the starters had trouble against the Pistons' starters. Harris in particular had eight points in the quarter, while Bradley Beal and the Wizards struggled offensively on the other end. Beal took off his protective eye goggles in the second quarter after struggling from the field in the first half. Of course, Beal would make his next three shots after taking them off. Washington trailed by six heading into the locker room.
The script completely in the second half. The Wizards would go on a 17-0 run to begin the third quarter, making eight of their first nine shots. During the run over four minutes and 53 seconds, the Wizards held the Pistons to 0-for-6 shooting and forced four turnovers. The Pistons would not make a field goal in the second half for over six minutes, and the Wizards started 11-for-14 overall from the field. Otto Porter Jr. had eight of his 17 points and added four assists in the quarter. Morris added seven of his 23 points, and Marcin Gortat had six points and six rebounds in the third.
The Wizards would win the third quarter 35-15, taking a 14-point lead into the final 12 minutes. The Wizards clamped down on the Pistons and won the fourth quarter by forcing turnovers and had five of their 19 second chance points. Washington would finish with 16 offensive rebounds, tying their season-high, and held the Pistons to only four offensive rebounds on the night.
The fourth quarter was all about Satoransky, who would score 11 of his career-high 17 points in the fourth. Satoransky, coming off a previous career-high last game in Philadelphia on Wednesday, made 5-of-6 field goals, both 3-point attempts, and all five free throws. The Czech added four assists and four rebounds and did not turn the ball over once. In his last four games, Satoransky has 22 assists and zero turnovers. Satoransky's efficiency since John Wall went down has been very impressive.
I think for the first time I really played with a lot of confidence tonight," Satoransky said of his career night. "I think I had some options to score easy buckets. Everything felt easier, but finally scoring more than one three-pointer. I’ve been working on it very hard. I think I didn’t try to force anything, like I said, let the game come to me. In the last quarter, I felt very confident.”
"I'm happy for him," Brooks said of Satoransky. "He's a guy that works extremely hard every single day, and there are days when he doesn't play, there are weeks and months that he doesn't play but he's always willing to do whatever it takes to be ready and I'm glad that he had a great game because we needed every shot that he made."
With the win, the Wizards (12-10) will now head out West for a five-game road trip. The trip starts off in Utah on Monday with tip set for 9:00pm.