Instant analysis: Pistons 104, Wizards 98

Instant analysis: Pistons 104, Wizards 98
January 18, 2014, 9:30 pm
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(Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports)

For the third time this season -- and a third chance at home -- John Wall is going to have to wait to have a winning record. The Wizards wasted a chance to put away the Detroit Pistons as they faltered down the stretch and had their three-game winning streak ended Saturday in front of 17,039 at Verizon Center.

Four players had at least three turnovers. Bradley Beal shot 2 of 14. The Wizards (19-20) missed 13 free throws.

The victory by Detroit (17-23) drew the season series even at 2.

Wall led all scorers with 34 points on 15-for-23 shooting and had six assists. Martell Webster had 15 points on 6-for-8 shooting, Nene had 14 points and Marcin Gortat 10. 

But Beal and Trevor Ariza shot miserably. They combined to go 3-for-21, including 2-for-11 from three-point range. 

Josh Smith led the Pistons with 22 points, and Rodney Stuckey came off the bench to contribute 20 and offset a starting backcourt of Brandon Jennings and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope that went 6-for-23 shooting.  Combined with Kyle Singler and Will Bynum, the bench contributed 41 points. 

[RELATED: John Wall dunks on Greg Monroe during Wizards-Pistons]

Turning point: As usual, the Wizards came out flat in the third quarter when they turned the ball over five times and allowed the Pistons, led by the hot shooting of Smith, regain the lead 79-76 going into the fourth. Smith scored 12 points in the period to help erase a 10-point deficit. 

Key stats: Detroit had the edge in transition points (22-18), points in the paint (52-38), second-chance points (17-10) and rebounding (44-35). 

Highlight reel: The last time these teams met, Greg Monroe, who is 6-10, was challenged by Wall and threw down a nice dunk that drew raves. Nevermind that Wall is six inches shorter, but he returned the favor quickly in the first quarter. He blew by Jennings and got into the lane and went through contact from Monroe to complete the play. It put the Wizards up 11-9.

Hurting: Trevor Booker exited with 10:37 left in the second quarter with the Wizards ahead 31-22. He didn't return after rolling his left ankle and was replaced in the lineup by Jan Vesely. 

From the locker room: "It was definitely a rough night for myself and a few other guys. We missed a  lot of layups and I'm probably more mad at those than I am jump shots. We still had to put ourselves in a position to win. Just got to do a lot better on the offensive end." -- Beal

"Bradley goes 2-for-14, a lot of the shots as the last one, were wide open but I don't really believe that was the reason we lost. Rebounding was critical with this team and we allowed them to, especially in the second half, just beat us up on the boards. Offensive rebounds, we just lost everything against this team and we can't afford to. Second-chance points, we talked about they're second or third in the league, first in offensive rebounds and points in the paint. And then they beat us in fast-break points, too." -- Wizards coach Randy Wittman 

"It was a couple times, especially in the second half, the ball became really stagnant. Just did a lot of dribbling. You usually kill defenses with the pass and you get the defense moving. Tonight, we had careless turnovers, myself included had four of them, and the last one really hurt." -- Webster

"Our second unit was the reason why we got back in the game and played the way we played. Our second unit came in and kind of changed the game." -- Pistons coach Maurice Cheeks

Up next: After three games in four days, the Wizards are off Sunday and will shoot around early Monday before playing the Philadelphia 76ers (CSN, 2 p.m. ET).