Detroit Pistons fall to Wizards, finish winless on first road trip
washington d.c. – Capital One Arena is a tough place to play, at least for the Pistons.
Detroit’s offensive struggles continued in Tuesday’s game in the nation’s capital in a 120-99 loss to the Washington Wizards. It was the Pistons’ third straight loss and their 15th straight on-court loss to the Wizards since Jan. 1, 2014.
At the start of this season, the theme centered around the Pistons’ signature droughts and lack of bench production. Detroit (1-3) received 25 points from its bench and the team finished 36 for 88 from the field (8 for 28 from 3-point range).
“We didn’t come out strong in the second half,” Pistons coach Dwane Casey said. “It’s something we have to learn to do. That first stretch in the first five minutes broke our backs.”
The Wizards (3-1) were led by a three-man combination of Kristaps Porzingis, Flint native Kyle Kuzma and Will Barton. Kuzma had a team-high 25 points and six rebounds. Porzingis dominated the interior before landing on a foul and finished with 20 points and six rebounds. Barton added 16 points on a 4-for-6 shot from 3-point field.
The Pistons were unable to find much continuity and chemistry, finishing with just 12 assists after entering the game averaging 27.7 assists per game, eighth in the NBA.
“Washington is a very good team, but nothing they did stopped us from (moving the ball),” Casey said. “I thought we were caught not moving the ball and not moving the ball side to side and attacking. It reduced our assists.”
Bojan Bogdanovic, who entered the match averaging a team-high 19.3 points, looked comfortable from the first tip as he returned to the same arena he played in during his short stint with the Wizards in 2016-17. He led the Pistons with 25 points, nine of which he scored in the first quarter. Bogdanovic only missed twice in the first half as he took his first five shots of the game, including four from 3-pointers.
Cade Cunningham struggled offensively in the first half after scoring a season-high 22 points against the Pacers on Saturday. The Pistons star couldn’t find much success at the rim and was often short on his 3-point attempts. However, Cunningham found some momentum after the half-time break as he was able to score a series of lay-ups, mid-range shots and free throws. He had 19 points, three rebounds and three assists.
Saddiq Bey entered Tuesday’s game as the Pistons’ third-leading scorer with 18 points per game. However, the third-year forward had a tough shooting night despite playing in his hometown of Washington DC. He finished with six points on 2-for-5 shooting in 21 minutes.
Flint native Monte Morris entered Tuesday’s game with the league’s third-highest 3-point percentage (71.4%) but couldn’t find his mark beyond the arc . He had one of his four attempts from deep and finished with nine points, six rebounds and six assists.
Wizards star Bradley Beal left the game and went to the locker room at one point with a tightness in his back. He came back midway through the third quarter. He looked fine after the break as he managed to knock down two contested mid-range jumpers while fouled. He totaled 13 points, five rebounds and six rebounds.
The Pistons struggled to take care of the ball in the first half, racking up 10 turnovers in the first 24 minutes. Despite early giveaways, the team finished with 13 at the end of the game.
Washington has won each of the last six meetings and is 10-2 against the Pistons in the past three seasons (since 2019-20).
After failing to leave three road arenas with a victory, the Pistons will return to Detroit for a three-game home game. Atlanta will visit Little Caesars Arena in back-to-back games Wednesday and Friday before the defending champion Golden State Warriors come to town on Sunday.