John Wall, Wizards torch Pistons
Washington — A month removed from a dreadful start to the season, the Washington Wizards just might becoming together under coach Scott Brooks.
It continued Friday night, as John Wall had 29 points and 11 assists while guiding a Wizards offense that committed a season-low five turnovers in a 122-108 victory over the Detroit Pistons.
Bradley Beal added 25 points and Marcin Gortat had 12 to go with 14 rebounds, helping Washington score its most points of the season while winning for the fourth time in five games.
“I think we’re getting into a nice little rhythm that we’re understanding what we want to do as a basketball team on both ends,” said Brooks, who replaced Randy Wittman after last season. “We’re still not where we want to be. But I see some progress, I see some belief in each other, and that’s what it’s all about.”
After losing eight of 10 to start the season, the Wizards have gone 9-6 since to move within three games of .500 (11-14).
Recently, Washington has at least 109 points in its last three wins. And against a Detroit team that entered Friday allowing the second-fewest points per game, Washington shot 57.1 percent (44 for 77) from the floor and 48 percent (12 of 25) from 3-point range.
“We’re competing. We’re into guys. We’re making guys uncomfortable,” Wall said. “At first we were giving up 3s, giving up layups and giving up transition points. I think (when) we’re a team that’s more physical, we give ourselves a better chance to win.”
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 24 points to lead the Pistons. Andre Drummond added 13 points and 12 rebounds, but Detroit allowed its most points all season while seeing its streak of holding opponents under 100 halted at seven games.
“John Wall was great. Beal was great,” Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy said. “We couldn’t handle them at all. They were getting wherever they wanted on the floor making plays. Then the other guys shot the ball well too, but those two guys just destroyed us.”
The Wizards broke it open during an excellent second quarter, shooting 5 of 7 from 3-point range and taking a 13-point lead after a 21-8 run, part of a season high 38 points in a quarter.
“We know this is a team who loves to slow the game down a little bit,” Beal said. “But we didn’t want to play their game. We wanted them to adjust to us.”