By DAVE HOGG, Associated Press
DETROIT (AP) – Andre Drummond scored 24 points and pulled down 23 rebounds, and the Detroit Pistons beat the Washington Wizards 103-92 on Thursday night for their fifth win in six games.
The Pistons moved within 4 ½ games of the Milwaukee Bucks for the last Eastern Conference playoff spot. The Bucks played at the Golden State Warriors later on Thursday.
Detroit was missing power forward Blake Griffin, who was a late scratch with an ankle contusion. Griffin is averaging 19.8 points, 6.6 rebounds and 6.2 assists in 25 games since joining Detroit late January.
Anthony Tolliver, starting for Griffin, scored 14 points, while Reggie Jackson finished with 13 points and eight assists.
Bradley Beal had 15 points for Washington and Kelly Oubre added 14. The Wizards have lost four of five.
Both teams struggled in the first half, which finished with a 49-all tie. They combined to shoot 6 for 25 (24 percent) on 3-pointers, while the Pistons turned the ball over nine times. Drummond had seven points, 12 rebounds and a blocked shot in the half, while Beal led the Wizards with 10 points.
Otto Porter Jr. had to be helped off the court early in the third quarter with a sprained right ankle, and the Pistons were able to move the lead to 63-55.
Drummond scored 13 points in the third, giving him 20 for the game and Detroit finished the quarter on an 8-0 run to take an 81-66 lead. Beal was injured in a collision with Henry Ellenson at the end of the quarter, but returned in the fourth.
The Wizards cut the gap to 91-87 with 5:15 left, but Detroit scored the next six points, including four from Jackson.
Wizards: Washington coach Scott Brooks said before the game that John Wall (knee) is close to returning and could play as soon as Saturday against the Charlotte Hornets.
Pistons: Detroit announced an honorary call-up of G League forward Zeke Upshaw, who died Monday of heart problems after collapsing during a game on Saturday. Upshaw, 26, was in his second season with the Grand Rapids Drive, Detroit’s G League affiliate.
Wizards: Host the Charlotte Hornets on Saturday.
Pistons: Visit the New York Knicks on Saturday in the first game of a New York City back-to-back.