Friday, March 12, 2010 10:40pm
Wizards vs. Pistons Game Highlights & PostgameBy Dave Johnson
CSNWashington.comAuburn Hills, Michigan----It got late early for the Washington Wizards. Tired from playing the Hawks the night before, the Wizards were in no position to play from behind but had to after committing five turnovers in the first ten minutes of a 101-87 loss to the Detroit Pistons.The Pistons jumped on the Wizards early with strong defensive pressure in the half-court and forced the Wizards to play at a higher tempo than they wanted too. With the Wizards early miscues the Pistons were able to build a twelve point lead at 26-14 with 2:20 left in the first quarterWe just had too many turnovers too early, said Wizards head coach Flip Saunders. It was kind of the same thing. We just could not get into our offense.The Pistons had little trouble getting into their offense and the Wizards were helping them. By half-time the Pistons had 18 points off Wizards turnovers as they built a 56-40 lead.All night long the Pistons pushed the ball and ended up with a 28-11 advantage in fast break points. Will Bynum had 20 of the Pistons 31-assists, while Richard Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince and rookie Jonas Jerebko each led the Pistons with 18-points.Andray Blatche led the Wizards with 23-points and 10-rebounds and played through fatigue to finish 11 of 22 from the field after struggling for the first three quarters. Unfortunately for the Wizards JaVale McGee was unable to produce an encore performance and was limited to four points and four rebounds.As good as JaVale was last night, and some said he has All Star potential, he was more like a CBA All star tonight, Saunders said of McGee who scored a career high 20 points on Thursday against the Hawks.He played about twenty minutes and we were minus-19 when he was on the floor, Saunders added. He had no energy and we had no presence around the basket and they just out worked us.Looking for a spark to help trigger a second-half come back, James Singleton replaced McGee in the Wizards lineup early in the third quarter. Singleton delivered and was particularly effective during a two-minute span of the third quarter when he scored six of his seven points on the night.A sluggish offense briefly looked alive as Singleton cut into the lane and received a crisp pass from Blatche on the baseline and then finished with a slam dunk to bring the Wizards within nine points at 66-57.Singleton again went to the basket and after a goaltending call on Jason Maxiell had the Wizards within seven points at 66-59 with 3:06 left in the third quarter. The rally ended there as the Pistons then closed the quarter on an 11-4 run.To the Wizards credit there was not a full collapse. In the final quarter the Wizards actually shot 64 percent from the field and matched the Pistons in scoring with 24-points, but paid the price for all their early mistakes when they struggled to establish their offense.It is all part of the learning experience for our players, Saunders noted. It is tough because we have guys going out there and competing but they are making mental mistakes and it emotionally wears you done.