Pistons hope for magic of their own against Wizards
The Washington Wizards and Detroit Pistons were on different sides of the last-minute heroics in their most recent games.
And when they meet in a Monday afternoon matinee in Washington, D.C., one will be trying to build on a win, the other to start a new winning streak.
The Wizards are coming back from a trip to London, where they defeated the New York Knicks 101-100 Thursday in the first game the franchise has played overseas.
The Wizards got the game-winning points when Thomas Bryant was credited with a basket with four-tenths of a second left following a goaltending call. Bryant took a pass from Bradley Beal and tried for a layup to give the Wizards the win.
"He did a great basketball play, just rolled to the basket," Beal told the media afterward. "I trusted him to be able to make the right play, whether it be kicking it out to the corner, or laying the ball up like he did."
They outscored the Knicks 24-11 in the fourth quarter, and a 15-2 run turned the game around. Beal led the team with 26 points.
Otto Porter Jr. also added 20 points, and Beal talked after the game about the fight in his team.
"We're a competitive team," Beal said. "Win, lose or draw, we stick together. We keep our heads high. We continue to get better. We're right here in the playoff hunt, which is where we want to be."
The Wizards know they're going to have to do it without guard John Wall, who is out for the season due to heel surgery. But Washington has gone 6-5 without him so far.
They've now won three of their last four but things won't get any easier after this game because the NBA champion Golden State Warriors come to town Thursday night.
On the other side, the Pistons had beaten Orlando and Miami at home but suffered a tough 103-101 loss to the Sacramento Kings at home on Saturday.
In that game, on a strange final play, Buddy Hield nailed a three-pointer at the buzzer for the last of this 35 points that let the Kings rally from a 13-point fourth-quarter deficit and pull out the victory.
Hield's 15-point fourth quarter frustrated the Pistons, who also were befuddled by the last play that he made to simply get the shot off.
"He split between two of them, had enough daylight to see the rim, and he just threw it up there," Detroit coach Dwane Casey said, according to the team's website. "With the time that was there, he wasn't going to have enough time to make another play. That was our scheme we had going. At 3.4 seconds, we've got to be disciplined and not let him split us."
Blake Griffin led the Pistons with 38 points, but it wasn't enough.
The Pistons also were playing without Ish Smith, who missed the game after experiencing problems connected to a right abductor injury. Andre Drummond was in concussion protocol for Saturday's loss, and his status for the Washington game was not clear as of Sunday.
This will be the third meeting of the season between the Pistons and the Wizards; they've split the first two games.
--Field Level Media
Updated January 20, 2019