Highlights: Wizards 106, Pistons 99
The Wizards were expecting to take the Detroit Pistons' best shot Monday night, and they did. After appearing knocked out, they came back to stage a furious rally late in the second half sparked by Bradley Beal and Nene and then had John Wall finish it off.
It was the second win in a row vs. the Pistons, who the Wizards blew out by 24 points on Saturday. The Wizards (14-14) have won five of their last six games to close out 2013 at .500, the second time they've reached that mark this season. They also have the edge in the season series 2-1 with one game remaining in Washington, which could prove to be a pivotal tie-breaker when it comes to playoff seedings.
Beal, who is still on restricted minutes coming off a lower right leg injury, played 29 and had 13 points on 6 of 13 shooting. Nine of those points came in the third quarter. Nene, also on restricted minutes because of his right Achilles, went 28 minutes, had 11 points on 5 of 9 shooting, six rebounds and five assists.
Detroit (14-19) had six players in double figures, with Andre Drummond (16 points, 16 rebounds), Greg Monroe (22 points, 10 rebounds) and Josh Smith (16 points, nine rebounds) leading the way. But all went cold in the fourth quarter.
Turning point: The Wizards went on a 23-9 run to start the fourth quarter. The second unit of Garrett Temple, Otto Porter, Martell Webster, Nene and Kevin Seraphin entered down 87-78 and by the time the starters re-entered the score was tied at 89 with 8:43 left. Then Wall, with his hot shooting and sharp decision-making, took over. The Pistons were held to 3 of 15 shooting and only one offensive rebound after getting 17 in the first three periods.
Best in show: Wall. He didn't shoot that well to start, but he was aggressive and got to the foul line. He made 7 of 15 field goals and 14 of 15 fouls shots for a game-high 29 points. He also had seven assists, four rebounds and two steals. He scored the last five points of the game.
Key stat line: The Pistons surprisingly pushed the pace and had a 24-10 edge on fast-break points, but they gave that edge back by missing 14 free throws, shooting 21 of 35.
Heads-up play: Wall challenged the 6-10 Monroe on a fast break, and even though he timed his leap perfectly he couldn't stop the thunderous dunk to put the Pistons ahead 24-19. While the crowd was fired, up, Wall quickly pushed the ball off the made bucket to get Trevor Ariza an uncontested three-pointer that he made. So really, the Wizards won that exchange and trailed 24-22. ... Ariza made up for a turnover by Wall on a bad pass in traffic in the third quarter to blow up a fast break as Brandon Jennings tried to pass back to Drummond. It led to a secondary transition jumper by Beal to cut the deficit to 67-62.
Sparkplugs: In his first action since Dec. 21 because of a right knee bruise, backup center Seraphin didn't enter until late in the second half. He contributed six points in 11 minutes. He played so well that Marcin Gortat was able to stay on the bench until 4:58 of the fourth quarter and return with a 95-94 lead. ... Porter had his best outing as a rookie. He made 3 of 4 shots for seven points in 10 minutes. His last bucket cut the deficit to 87-86.
DNP: Eric Maynor and Chris Singleton didn't get off the bench.
Around the bend: The Wizards return to D.C. immediately after the game and will have a light practice Tuesday before playing at home Wednesday vs. the Dallas Mavericks (CSN, 6 p.m. ET).