In a match-up of two teams who’ve had there share of turmoil over the last few weeks, the Detroit Pistons held off the Washington Wizards late comeback attempt beating them 113 to 102.
Wizards Head Coach Flip Saunders missed the game against his former team in order to attend a wake for his mother who passed away this past Friday. For the second time in the last three games, Assistant Coach Randy Wittman filled in during Saunders’ absence.
In recent weeks reports have surfaced over Pistons’ players boycotting the teams Head Coach John Kuester by walking out on meetings and refusing to practice. Rip Hamilton (10 pts) who was at the center of the alleged walk-out, stated last week that he had spoken to his coach and that their issues were resolved. For at least one night Detroit stood united.
Tayshaun Prince returned to the Pistons' lineup Sunday after missing five games because of back problems. Prince came up big in his return, scoring 20 points to go with six rebounds and two assists. Austin Daye also had an effective night scoring 12 points (5-6 fg’s) and grabbing five rebounds.
Though he’s listed as a Power Forward, Detroit’s Charlie Villanueva basically camped out beyond the arc; making three of his eight attempted three pointers. The Pistons had seven players score in double digits for the night.
Washington struggled on the glass and were out rebounded by a 45 to 29 margin. Wizards Center JaVale McGee only managed two rebounds for the night, though he did score on five of his 6 attempts from the field. Andray Blatche narrowly missed a double-double with nine rebounds to go with his 21 points.
Nick Young returned to action after missing Saturday’s Minnesota game with flu- like symptoms. Young contributed 21 points, including a circus lay-up with 7:24 left in the fourth quarter to bring the Wizards within five points.
Despite struggling from the field John Wall (6-15 fg’s) scored a game-high 24 points by converting 12 of his 13 free throws. He and Piston’s guard Rodney Stuckey (19 pts, 9 ast, 7 reb) went back and forth at each other as both guards refused to back down from the other.
Though Wall didn’t have his best shooting night, it was encouraging to see him attack opposing defenses in a variety of ways. Wall constantly pushed the tempo by getting his team out in transition and attacking the basket when their shots weren’t falling. He and fellow guard Jordan Crawford (7 pts, 3 ast) led the second half charge that ultimately fell short.
The Wizards return to action Tuesday at home when they host the Milwaukee Bucks. Washington has split the series so far this season at one a piece, with both team’s winning at home.