WASHINGTON (AP) — Josh Smith and Rodney Stuckey kept the Washington Wizards from their first winning record in more than four years.
Smith overcame a slow start to score 22 points and Rodney Stuckey added 20 as the Pistons beat the Wizards 104-98 on Saturday night.
It was the third time this year Washington lost at home with a chance to get over the .500 mark. The Wizards last had a winning record when they started the 2008-09 season at 2-1.
"Somebody just needs to not tell us our record and we'll just go out and play," Washington guard Bradley Beal said. "Every time they tell us '.500,' we just pressure ourselves too much and end up not showing up."
Beal was among the guilty, hitting 2 of 14 shots and scoring a season-low seven points, leaving John Wall to carry the load.
The Wizards' point guard scored 34 points on 15 of 23 shooting and had six assists. Wall had Washington's last 10 points, as he was the only Wizards player to score in the final 6 minutes.
Detroit answered Wall's brilliance with balance. Greg Monroe had 12 points and 10 rebounds and Andre Drummond added 10 points and a game-high 13 boards as the Pistons outrebounded the Wizards 44-35.
Brandon Jennings had 14 points and eight assists, and Kyle Singler added 14 points on 5-of-6 shooting off the bench.
"I thought our second unit was the reason why we got back in the game," Detroit coach Maurice Cheeks said. "Our second unit came in and kind of changed the game."
Stuckey was instrumental early and late. The score was tied at 88-all when Wizards forward Nene hit two free throws with 6 minutes left. But Stuckey followed with a three-point play as the Pistons took the lead for good. Stuckey added two free throws and his jumper with 2:23 left put Detroit in charge, 97-90. Washington got no closer than three after that.
The Wizards hit 10 of their first 15 shots and sprinted to a 26-16 lead. However, Detroit held Washington without a field goal in a 5:35 span of the second quarter and Stuckey scored eight points in a 16-3 run.
"I just go in there and try to do what I do and try to change the game," Stuckey said. "That's what we did tonight, the bench players. We came in and did a good job of changing the game."