The Detroit Pistons didn’t want to take a six-game losing streak into their longest road trip of the season.
Turns out, Pistons coach Dwane Casey and his banged-up squad were facing one of the few NBA teams dealing with even more injuries ahead of hitting the road.
Blake Griffin had 14 points, and a season-high 11 rebounds, and Detroit ended a five-game losing streak with a 132-102 rout of the Washington Wizards 132-102 on Thursday night.
“We did a lot of good things, and now we’ve got to carry that on the road,” Casey said. “We knew we had a wounded team over there and I thought our ball movement was as good as it has been all season.”
The Pistons were missing Reggie Jackson (back) and Luke Kennard (knee), while Griffin, Bruce Brown and Derrick Rose played through injuries.
“I thought we did all the little things right,” Griffin said. “We obviously weren’t in a good spot with a five-game losing streak, but we just focused on tonight and making sure we played our game.”
John Wall, Davis Bertans, Isaiah Thomas, Thomas Bryant and Rui Hachimura sat out for Washington.
“We didn’t play well and they have a great game,” Wizards coach Scott Brooks said. “They came back healthy and their bigs were a handful. We paid so much attention to (Griffin and Andre Drummond) that their guards took us out of a good offensive rhythm.”
Detroit, which had already lost twice to the Wizards, got 14 points and 10 rebounds from Andre Drummond. Pistons coach Dwane Casey was able to use the lopsided margin to rest his key players, including sitting Griffin for the fourth quarter.
Christian Wood finished with 22 points and Tim Frazier scored 18 for Detroit, which had eight players in double figures.
The Pistons took 48 3-pointers, tying the franchise record set on Dec. 19, 2018, in a 129-123 overtime win against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Frazier hit five of six attempts.
“Timmy has been in the league for five or six years, so he’s got experience and he knows what is going on,” Casey said. “He was shooting well, but he also helped with our ball movement and pace.”
Anzejs Pasecniks scored a career-high 17 in his fifth NBA game to lead the Wizards. Bradley Beal had 15 points before leaving the game in the fourth quarter.
“He had some soreness in his right lower leg, so we’ll see how he feels tomorrow and evaluate it from there,” Brooks said. “He wanted to keep playing, but we were down big and thought it was wise to let him sit out the rest of the game.”
Despite a makeshift lineup, the Wizards were able to stay close early, taking advantage of Detroit’s defensive rebounding issues. Washington pulled down 45% of their own misses in the first quarter. But, the Pistons moved out to a 68-48 lead by halftime.
The Pistons finished the game with rebounds on 67% of the Wizards’ missed shots. That’s still one of their four worst totals of the season, all of which have come in the last four games, but it was a significant improvement on the 59% they recorded in Monday’s loss to the Chicago Bulls.
“Our biggest adjustment was getting after the ball,” Casey said. “It was a concern before the game and it was still a concern during the game. Everybody’s got to do a better job, starting with the old-fashioned box out. We did a better job in the second half, but it is still an issue.”
The Pistons have struggled all season in the third quarter. They were able to keep the momentum going against the Wizards, pushing their lead to 29 points, 89-60, midway through the period.
Detroit led by as many as 34 points in the fourth quarter.
“We’ve got to go out there and play hard the whole game, and we didn’t go hard and we weren’t aggressive,” Wizards guard Jordan McRae said. “Against a team with big guys like Drummond and Griffin, you have to be physical. I don’t think we were.”
Wizards: Washington was playing in Detroit on the day after Christmas for the second year in a row. In 2018, Beal and Wall combined for 42 points in a 106-95 loss. Markieff Morris had 12 points for the Wizards in that game and scored four for Detroit this year.
Pistons: The team announced Thursday that Kennard will miss at least two weeks with knee soreness. Kennard had missed two of Detroit’s last three games in an attempt to remedy the problem.
WELCOME TO THE LEAGUE
Louis King made his NBA debut for Detroit in the fourth quarter, finishing with two points and a rebound in four minutes.
Washington allowed at least 110 points for the 24th straight game, one short of the longest season-season streak since the 1990-91 Denver Nuggets did it in 28 straight games. The New Orleans Pelicans finished last season with a 25-game streak, while the 1990-91 Nuggets started a 24-game streak one game after breaking the 28-game run.
Wizards: Host the New York Knicks on Saturday.
Pistons: Open a six-game, 10-day trip Saturday against the San Antonio Spurs.
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