Pistons no match for Beal, Wizards
The Wizards have a shot at closing the year with a .500 record after Saturday's blowout of the Detroit Pistons and also avenged a season-opening loss on the road.
The margin of victory (24) was a season high for Washington as was the total assists (34) before 19,336 at Verizon Center. It also was the first victory against the Pistons (14-18) since the 2011-12 season.
Coming off a 22-point loss at the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday, the Wizards (13-14) led from start to finish. All five starters scored in double figures, led by John Wall with 20 points, 16 from Marcin Gortat, 15 each from Trevor Ariza and Bradley Beal and 10 from Trevor Booker.
The bruising tandem of Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond was held to 18 total points and 14 rebounds. In that 113-102 victory for them in Detroit, they combined for 36 points and 24 rebounds.
Turning point: The Pistons stayed within 10 points throughout most of the first half until Beal and Wall exploded. They made consecutive jump shots and then Beal hit back-to-back three-pointers -- both on assists from Wall -- and Wall had a breakaway dunk to push the lead to 62-41 by halftime.
Best in show: Wall. He drove the engine and had his sixth consecutive game with 20 points or more, a career-high streak, as he finished with 20 on 8-for-14 shooting, 11 assists and just two turnovers in 30 minutes. More importantly, he forced Brandon Jennings into 2 of 10 shooting the first half as the Wizards seized control.
Finally: Otto Porter made a running floater with just fewer than two minutes left to wrap up 2013. It was his first basket as a pro at Verizon Center as he missed his first six attempts Saturday. He finished 2-for-8 for four points to go with eight rebounds.
Injury report: Backup C Kevin Seraphin missed his second game in a row because of a sore right knee. ... Beal and Nene still are on minutes restrictions and didn't have to log many because of the blowout. Beal played 20 minutes and Nene 19. Despite bruising his left knee in Minnesota, Beal started.
Up next: The Wizards will travel to Detroit on Sunday to play the Pistons on Monday to close out 2013 (CSN, 7:30).
From the locker room:
"We got back a little bit of our identity and I thought we lost that last night (vs. Minnesota) coming out of the Christmas break. We can only play one way, and that's a physical presence on the floor. Tonight, that was more the tune that we have to be. I thought that right from the jump ball we took the fight in a physical manner that we didn't at all last night. This is a team very similar to Minnesota in terms of their bigs and what they can do in the paint and on the boards." -- Wizards coach Randy Wittman
"Being aggressive, attacking the basket, being more physical. We got back to our defensive concepts and we protected the rim and got a lot of rebounds. When you do that with a team that's number one in second-chance points and offensive rebounds and points in the paint you've (done) a good job." -- Wall of the Wizards who had a 46-38 rebounding edge and equalled the Pistons in the paint with 48 points.
"The whole team did good. I don't want to talk about just one person. It's a team job. We can talk about Ariza, he hit four three-pointers. Wall did a great job, to pass, to set up our plays and do the right thing on the court. It's a team win." -- Nene
"They made a run and we were just unable to get stops. ... We have to get back to what we were doing before the break, and get back to playing at a high level." -- Monroe