Jose Calderon's layup with 1:06 remaining proved to be the difference-maker, as the Detroit Pistons picked up a much- needed 96-95 victory over the Washington Wizards, on Wednesday.
Brandon Knight netted a career-high 32 points and had five 3-pointers and Greg Monroe scored 26 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for the Pistons, who ended a three-game losing skid. Kim English came off the bench to add 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting and Calderon finished with just six points, but dished out a game-high 18 assists in the victory.
Knight had missed the last three games with a hyperextended right knee.
Trevor Ariza paced Washington with 22 points and grabbed six boards, while Bradley Beal had 16 points and six rebounds for the Wizards, who were coming off three straight victories. The Wizards continued their struggles in the series, having now lost six straight and 14 of their last 16 games overall versus Detroit.
"We got what we deserved. We didn't deserve to win that game," Wizards head coach Randy Wittman said. "We were more caught up in ourselves individually than the team tonight."
Ariza, who knocked down a pair of free throws with 12 seconds to play bring the home team within one, had a last-second chance, but his corner 3-point attempt missed the rim completely.
After his second 3-pointer in the final minute brought Washington within three points, Ariza stole the ball and was fouled by Will Bynum with a clear path to the basket, giving the Wizards an unlikely chance with the two free throws and ball back in the closing seconds.
Detroit led by as many as 16 points with 28 seconds left in the third quarter, but the lead started to shrink around the midway point of the fourth, as Chris Singleton's layup with 5:42 brought the Wizards within 84-81.
Two Knight free throws with under two minutes to play strengthened the lead to nine points, however, during a 8-2 swing. Down six points with one minute remaining, the contest seemed out of reach for the home team, Ariza scored the team's final eight points to make things interesting.
"With our group, I was confident in their confidence that we were going to win the game," Pistons head coach Lawrence Frank said.
The visitors led after one quarter, 28-24, while Calderon had eight helpers alone and Monroe and Knight accounted for 22 of the Pistons' total points. Washington held a 55-51 edge at the break.
John Wall finished with seven turnovers and six points to go along with a poor 3-of-9 shooting effort.
Washington is 13-16 at home, Detroit is 8-19 on the road ... The Wizards had won seven of nine, including a season-high four straight from Feb. 4 - Feb. 11 ... Nene missed the contest with a sore right shoulder ... The Pistons won the fast break battle, 27-15.