Published November 20, 2014
The Detroit Pistons have been playing well lately and will close out a three-game homestand tonight versus the Washington Wizards.
Even though their chances of making the playoffs are slim, the Pistons are beginning to gel and have won two straight and four of five games. They are coming off Tuesday's 102-95 win over the Dwight Howard-less Orlando Magic, as Greg Monroe took control inside with 22 points and 11 rebounds for Detroit. The Magic were also without starters Jameer Nelson (calf) and three-point specialist Ryan Anderson (ankle).
Ben Gordon posted 18 points, seven assists and seven boards, while Jason Maxiell and Tayshaun Prince scored 15 points apiece in the win.
"Our second unit was great there at the start of the fourth quarter," said Prince, who is averaging 20.0 points in his last five games. "We picked up the defensive energy and that's what was able to get us through the game."
Detroit outscored Orlando 56-30 in the paint and won the battle on the glass 45-30. It improved to 14-12 as the host this season.
After tonight's game versus the Wizards, Detroit will hit the road for four games against Atlanta, Miami, Orlando and Charlotte. Pistons guard Rodney Stuckey has missed the last three games with a hamstring injury and is questionable Thursday. He is averaging a team-best 16.1 ppg.
Washington will begin a three-game road trip Thursday against the Pistons, Nets and Bobcats, and has lost three straight and five of six as the guest. It is just 5-21 away from the nation's capital this season.
The Wizards are coming off last night's 109-96 setback to the Indiana Pacers and got a game-high 28 points from Jordan Crawford. Kevin Seraphin chipped in 19 points and 10 rebounds, while John Wall and Brian Cook scored 13 and 10 points, respectively, in a losing cause.
"We're not losing interest because everyone is playing hard," said Crawford. "You might get tired in a game, but we're all fighting hard out there every night."
Washington has lost three in a row and 10 of 12 games. It did not have forward Trevor Booker or center Nene due to plantar fasciitis, and may not have them again this evening. Both players are doubtful for tonight.
The Wizards and Pistons have split a pair of meetings this season with each team prevailing on the road. Detroit has won nine of 11 contests against Washington, losers in eight of 10 trips to The Palace of Auburn Hills.