"We gave ourselves an opportunity to win the game," Ariza said. "We let this one slip through our hands."
Knight missed those previous three Detroit losses, and was considered a game-time decision Wednesday. He was terrific, making 11 of 18 field-goal attempts, including 5 of 6 on 3-point tries.
"He's a big part of what we do," Monroe said, "so whenever he's on the floor, guys do feel better."
With Calderon orchestrating things, the Pistons opened the game by collecting assists on each of their first 16 field goals — the team's highest such total in at least a decade, according to STATS LLC.
By the end of the first quarter, Calderon already was up to eight assists — one more than the Wizards' entire roster — and Detroit led 28-24.
"Jose controlled the game," Pistons coach Lawrence Frank said.
Without Wall for nearly the entire second quarter, Washington actually pulled out to a 55-51 edge at halftime. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 draft was unsteady when he was on the court, with five turnovers, two points and one assist in 11 minutes.
And then, on Washington's first possession of the second half, Wall raised his turnover total to six, getting stripped by Jason Maxiell.
"He's a player that's learning how to play the game still. He's still young," Ariza said about Wall. "He's still trying to improve and step into his leadership role."
NOTES: The No. 3 overall pick this year, Bradley Beal, scored 16 points for Washington but went 0 for 5 on 3-pointers; his next make from beyond the arc will give him the franchise record for most by a rookie. ... In the visiting locker room at his college's home arena, former Georgetown player Monroe celebrated the Hoyas' 79-78, double-OT win over Connecticut on Thursday night by repeatedly teasing Huskies-turned-Pistons Charlie Villanueva and Andre Drummond.