Johnson: Wizards win third straight

Johnson: Wizards win third straight
April 6, 2011, 1:18 am
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Tuesday, April 5, 2011 9:33 p.m.

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By Dave Johnson
CSNwashington.comWashington -- If it was easy, the Wizards would have done it sooner. As time expired, Austin Dayes three-point attempt from the corner rimmed out to allow the Wizards to celebrate a 107-105 win over the Detroit Pistons and their first three-game winning streak since April 2008.Even when the Wizards thought they had done enough, it almost wasnt. After the Pistons Greg Monroe missed two free throws, Andray Blatche grabbed his 10th rebound and was immediately fouled. Blatche made two free throws to give the Wizards a 106-102 lead with 9.3 seconds left,Daye answered with a three-pointer to close to 106-105 with 2.9 seconds left, John Wall was fouled on the inbound, but after making the first free throw he missed the second to set up Dayes last chance that flirted with going down.Weve lost enough tough ones, we deserve a little bit of luck, Wizards head coach Flip Saunders said of Dayes final look.That last one was definitely pretty right on.Monroe, despite the missed free throws, had a successful return to the arena where he played with Georgetown. With 22 points and 14 rebounds Monroe provided the stiffest challenge to the Wizards. He also helped the Pistons to a 27-13 advantage in second chance points.Down to nine healthy players, with Cartier Martin out with a stress fracture in his left foot, the Wizards once again relied on heavy minutes and high scoring from their starters. Blatche and Wall each played over 40 minutes and finished with double-doubles.Wall simply took over the fourth quarter when he scored 16 of his 26 points. With 14.8 seconds remaining Wall, who also had 12 assists, electrified the crowd when he took an outlet pass from JaVale McGee and finished a fast-break slam dunk with two hands to put the Wizards ahead of the Pistons 104-102.To go with his 10 rebounds, Blatche also had 26 points to continue his renaissance. After missing ten games with a shoulder injury, Blatche has returned with a vengeance and has been more aggressive in attacking the basket. Blatche was 10 of 12 from the free throw line.He has really good energy and I think hes much more patient, and he hasnt gotten frustrated, Saunders noted. We went through a stretch tonight where we looked like we were having problems. Last year he might have gotten frustrated because he wasnt getting the ball, but tonight he kept doing the things the right way.Maurice Evans helped the Wizards get started by scoring 10 of his 20 points in the first quarter when the Wizards opened with a 31-22 lead. Jordan Crawford added 17 points, while McGee was the only starter not in double figures.Like Blatche, McGee has been enjoying an impressive run of consistency, but he was saddled with foul trouble and limited with 8 points and 8 rebounds. Still, McGees 5th foul was the one that sent Monroe, a 60 percent free throw shooter, to the line where he missed the two free throws that would have tied the game at 104.You have to give props to our crowd, Saunders added. They were really into the game, they were really cheering and I told our players, They just want you to play hard. If you play hard, theyre going to reward you.