Washington Wizards sharp early, late in outscoring Detroit Pistons 133-119
By NOAH TRISTER
AP Sports Writer
DETROIT — The Washington Wizards hardly missed during the first quarter, shooting 81% from the field.
Then in the final period, they nearly repeated that feat.
Bradley Beal scored 35 points and Isaiah Thomas added 23 to lift the Wizards to a 133-119 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Monday night. Washington led 43-31 after the first quarter, and after the Pistons rallied, the Wizards shot 78% from the floor in the fourth.
Beal and Thomas each scored 11 points in the fourth and missed only one shot between them in that quarter.
“Brad’s going to be Brad, so he’s going to do what he’s been doing all year, his whole career,” Thomas said. “Slowly, I’m feeling like myself more and more.”
Thomas returned from a calf injury, while the Pistons were without injured stars Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond.
Washington shot 17 of 21 from the field in the first quarter. The Wizards made all three of their 3-point attempts and all six of their free throws in the opening period.
“You give a team 43 points in the first quarter, that’s the game,” Detroit coach Dwane Casey said. “You let a team see the ball go through the basket, a team that’s been struggling. They lost how many straight?”
The Pistons failed to build on their victory at Houston on Saturday night.
Derrick Rose and Markieff Morris each scored 22 points for Detroit.
It was 67-61 at halftime, and Washington led 96-91 after three. In the final quarter, the Wizards’ lead stayed between two and five until Beal’s two free throws made it a six-point game with 5:20 to play.