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Wizards welcome a hot Pistons team on Go-Go Night
The Wizards make a quick pit stop back at home to host the red-hot Pistons tonight in D.C.
Capital One Arena | 7:00 p.m. | NBCSW | 1500 AM | Buy Tickets
Wizards (11-10): G - Frazier, G - Beal, F - Porter Jr., F - Morris, C - Gortat
Pistons (14-6): G - Jackson, G - Bradley, F - Johnson, F - Harris, C - Drummond
Wizards: Sheldon Mac (Achilles - Out), John Wall (Knee - Out)
Pistons: John Leuer (Ankle - Doubtful)
Wiz Looking for Quicker Start
The Wizards have fallen behind early in each of their past two games and have been forced to fight their way back, which they did successfully on Tuesday in Minnesota, but came up short the next night in Philadelphia. They talked afterwards about wanting more energy out of the gate to avoid falling in an early hole, something that will be important against a very good Pistons team tonight.
The Wizards bench has outscored the starters in consecutive games for the first time since December of 2012 and Wednesday's game saw three different reserves reach double figures (Oubre, Meeks, Satoransky). The bench nearly led the Wizards to a massive comeback on Wednesday, but they came up just a few possessions short and eventually lost by five. While the bench play has been encouraging, the Wizards know they need their starting unit to play at a high level to win consistently.
Pistons Off to Hot Start
Through the first quarter of the season, the Pistons hold the second best record in the Eastern Conference at 14-6 and have been the biggest surprise in the East after they failed to make the postseason last year. They have gone 7-1 against the Western Conference and enter tonight's game winners of four of their last five, including road victories in Boston, Oklahoma City, and Minnesota. They have been winning games by sharing the ball, as they've recorded at least 20 assists in 14 straight games, their longest streak of 20+ assists in 12 years. They also have seven comeback wins in which they've overcome a deficit of at least 10 points, the most in the NBA.
Their sixth-year center Andre Drummond has been playing at an All-Star level, averaging 14.3 points and 15.2 rebounds per game. He's also averaged 6.5 assists over the team's last two wins, including a career-high seven assists in Wednesday's win over the Suns. The Wizards have faced some tough centers this week in Karl-Anthony Towns and Joel Embiid, so look for Marcin Gortat and Ian Mahinmi to share minutes again tonight trying to slow down the Pistons' big man.
Last Time vs. Detroit
Otto Porter Jr. led the team with 28 points and tied a season-high with 11 made field goals to help the Wizards take down the Pistons, 115-111 back on October 20th at Capital One Arena. The Pistons had a seven point lead at the half, but the Wizards outscored Detroit 33-16 in the third quarter and then held off the Pistons late run to secure their second win of the season. It was the second game of the year for both teams and the Pistons first loss of the year. The Wizards are 7-1 at home against the Pistons over the last five seasons and have now won six straight in D.C.
Up next, the Wizards head west for a five-game road trip beginning in Salt Lake City on Monday night. (9:00 p.m.)