Wizards hang on late to beat Pistons in must-win affair


The Wizards needed every second, and every inch, to beat the Pistons on Tuesday night at Capital One Arena.

In a 116-113 win the Wizards flirted with a huge blown lead late, but held on in the final seconds after two Detroit 3-point shots rang out.

The Wizards are now 28-33 on the season.

Two-game skid broken

Considering how the Wizards have played in their last two games, it’s not hard to envision a scenario where their last week looks drastically different. 

The Wizards snapped a two-game skid with the win over the Pistons, which followed a double overtime loss Friday against the Spurs and a blown lead in a six-point loss to the Cavaliers a day after. 

Now the Wizards are back in the win column as they were able to pull out a game that went down to the wire. 

Big runs close the game

The Wizards felt in control for much of the night but as the third quarter came to a close, Wes Unseld Jr. needed to call a timeout and regroup. They had just surrendered a 9-0 run and trailed by six. But the Wizards answered — with authority. 

They went on an 18-0 run that stretched a few minutes into the fourth quarter and gave the Wizards a double-digit lead. But Detroit answered a few minutes later with a 10-0 run of its own to tie the game at 104 with just under four minutes left to play, only to have Washington respond with a 6-0 run of its own. 


It looked like both teams had a chance to take control late, as the game went back-and-forth until the very end.

3-point shooting stays hot

The Wizards have shot the 3-ball well since the trade deadline and that continued against the Pistons on Tuesday. 

The team shot 50% (13-of-26) from deep, led by Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Corey Kispert and Rui Hachimura, each of whom made three 3-pointers. As a team, they have now shot at least 42% from deep in their last five games. 

Particularly, though, the 3-point shooting of Hachimura has been particularly impressive in the last month. 

Since Feb. 1, he’s shot 17-of-25 (68%) from beyond the arc. As he looks to add more to his game as he evolves as a professional, his 3-point shooting would make for a great addition. 

Cade Cunningham shines

The Wizards got their third look at the NBA’s first overall pick of last year’s draft. 

In 31:35, Cunningham finished with 20 points, nine rebounds and five assists on the night. The Pistons have struggled this year, but it’s clear they’ve got a potential franchise building block running the point in Detroit. 

It was evident late, as he hit a clutch turnaround jump shot to pull the Pistons within one with under a minute left. He made a few nice plays down the stretch too, which helped the Pistons hang around. 

Cunningham and the Pistons clearly need more weapons to compete, but it’s always a show when one of the league’s young stars comes to town.  

Deni Avdija leaves early

The Wizards lost Deni Avdija in the first half after he suffered a knee-on-knee collision. He returned to the floor briefly before leaving for the rest of the game. 

He was diagnosed with a quad contusion and was seen riding the stationary bike in the fourth quarter attempting to get loose. 

Avdija didn't return to the game but his injury didn't appear serious as of the final horn. 

Satoransky returns to D.C.

Tuesday was the first game back in a Wizards uniform for Tomas Satoransky as he made his return to the team that drafted him in 2012. And with the game on the line in the fourth quarter, he was on the floor and shooting free throws. 

He entered for the first time late in the first quarter to a nice ovation and played a total of 13:50 throughout. He finished with four points, one assist and three rebounds.

Satoransky spent three previous seasons with the Wizards from 2016-19 before he landed in Chicago, New Orleans and finally San Antonio for just one game. After his buyout from the Spurs over the weekend, where he ironically played in Washington against the Wizards, he and the team quickly agreed to a reunion.