WASHINGTON (AP) — Bradley Beal scored 36 points, and the Washington Wizards snapped their three-game losing streak with a 117-97 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday night.
Playing without Kyle Kuzma, the Wizards still raced out to a 22-point advantage in the first quarter, and although they've had issues holding those types of leads this season, the last-place Pistons represented little threat. Killian Hayes led Detroit with 20 points.
Washington (32-37) moved percentage points ahead of Chicago (31-36) for the final play-in spot in the Eastern Conference.
“It's up to us. We could kind of control our own destiny,” Beal said. “I know it starts with me, so I just make sure I'm locked in, make sure I'm ready to go and make sure guys are ready to go too and understand that every game is important, every possession is important.”
The Pistons snapped an 11-game skid by beating Indiana on Monday, but they allowed the Wizards to shoot 68% in the first quarter — including 14 of 16 inside the arc — a night later.
An 8-0 run put Washington up 16-7, and later in the quarter the Wizards went on a 20-2 tear to make it 38-16.
“I think the biggest thing is defensively, we were engaged, locked in,” Beal said. “I just make sure I try to set the tone on either end of the floor and get guys shots, get us going as best we can.”
Kuzma missed the game because of right knee soreness.
Beal went 13 of 15 from the field and finished one point shy of his season high. He also had seven assists and six rebounds.
“Just being aggressive,” Beal said. “I always credit my teammates for moving, setting screens and just being active. The ball was moving around. We were just playing for each other.”
Kristaps Porzingis scored 18 points for Washington and Corey Kispert added 16.
This game was a lot less tense for the Wizards than their previous matchup with Detroit. They won that one on the road last week, 119-117 on Daniel Gafford's buzzer beater.
Rookie Johnny Davis, a lottery pick for the Wizards who had appeared in only 14 games for them, scored 11 points in 18:32, easily surpassing his career highs in points and minutes.
“I haven't seen him play live as much as I'd like,” Wizards coach Wes Unseld Jr. said. “There's only one way to see him: play him. ... He looked great. It's a confidence boost for him. I think it's a confidence boost for his teammates.”
Pistons: Detroit was without Jaden Ivey (health and safety protocols), Bojan Bogdanovic (left Achilles tendon), Cade Cunningham (left tibia), Isaiah Stewart (left shoulder), Isaiah Livers (right hip) Marvin Bagley III (right ankle), Hamidou Diallo (right ankle) and Alec Burks (left foot). ... Rodney McGruder scored 16 points and went 4 of 9 from long distance. In his last five games, he’s 15 of 27 from 3-point range.
Wizards: Washington went 37 of 53 from 2-point range for the game.
Pistons: Host Denver on Thursday night.
Wizards: At Cleveland on Friday night.