KEVIN DUNLEAVY, Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) — Josh Smith overcame a slow start to score 22 points and Rodney Stuckey added 20 as the Detroit Pistons beat the Washington Wizards 104-98 on Saturday night.
Rodney Monroe had 12 points and 10 rebounds and Andre Drummond added 10 points and a game-high 13 boards as the Pistons outrebounded the Wizards 44-35.
John Wall scored 34 points, including Washington’s last 10 over the final 6 minutes, as the Wizards snapped a three-game winning streak and failed to move past .500 for the first time in more than four years. It was the third time this year they lost at home with a chance to get over the .500 mark.
Martell Webster had 15 points and Marcin Gortat added 10 points and 12 rebounds for Washington.
The score was tied at 88-all when Wizards forward Nene hit two free throws with six minutes left. But Stuckey followed with a three-point play as the Pistons took the lead for good. He added two free throws and his jumper with 2:23 left put Detroit in charge, 97-90. Washington got no closer than three after that.
It was a tale of two halves for Smith, who went 0 for 6 from the field in the first two quarters and then scored 20 in the second half. He also had eight boards for the NBA’s top rebounding squad.
Washington hit 10 of its first 15 shots and sprinted to a 26-16 lead. However, Detroit held Washington without a field goal in a 5:35 span of the second quarter and Stuckey scored eight points in a 16-3 run. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope hit a 3-pointer to give the Pistons a 38-34 lead.
The Wizards responded with two 3s from Webster and one from Wall over the final 2:08 of the half to regain the advantage, 54-46.
Washington pushed its edge to 12 early in the third quarter. Smith then scored 12 points in the third to help Detroit move back ahead, 79-76.
NOTES: Washington reserve Trevor Booker went to the locker room early in the second quarter with a sprained left ankle and didn’t return. … After sitting out the last two games, Jan Vesely was pressed into service and gave the Wizards a lift in the second quarter with six of his seven points. He also hit his first free throw since Dec. 2 ending a streak of 14 misses. … Washington had reached the .500 mark two other times this season, but followed with losing streaks of four and three games, with only one of those games away from Verizon Center. … The teams split the four-game season series. Detroit hasn’t lost a series to Washington since 2005-06.
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