Pistons fall to Wizards, finish winless in first road trip

Detroit News

Washington, D.C. — Capital One Arena is a tough place to play, at least for the Pistons.

Detroit’s offensive struggles continued into Tuesday’s matchup in the nation’s capital in a 120-99 loss to the Washington Wizards. It marked the Pistons’ third consecutive loss and their 15th straight loss on the Wizards’ home court dating back to Jan. 1, 2014.

The theme early on this season has centered around the Pistons’ scoring droughts and lack of bench production. Detroit (1-3) received 25 points from its bench and the team finished 36-for-88 from the field (8-for-28 from 3-point range).

BOX SCORE: Wizards 120, Pistons 99

“We didn’t come out with any force in the second half,” Pistons coach Dwane Casey said. “That’s something that we gotta learn to do. That first stretch in the first five minutes broke our back.”

The Wizards (3-1) were led by a three-man combination of Kristaps Porzingis, Flint native Kyle Kuzma and Will Barton. Kuzma tallied a team-high 25 points and six rebounds. Porzingis dominated the interior before he landed in foul trouble and finished with 20 points and seven rebounds. Barton added 16 points on 4-for-6 shooting from 3-point land.

The Pistons weren’t able to find much continuity and chemistry, finishing with just 12 assists after entering the game averaging 27.7 assists per game, eighth in the NBA.

“Washington is a very good team, but there’s nothing they were doing that kept us from (moving the ball),” Casey said. “I thought we got caught up in not moving the ball and not moving the ball from side to side and attacking. It cut into our assists.”

Bojan Bogdanovic, who entered the game averaging a team-high 19.3 points, appeared comfortable from the opening tip as he returned to the same arena that he once played in during his short stint with the Wizards in 2016-17. He led the Pistons with 25 points, nine of which he scored in the first quarter. Bogdanovic only missed twice in the first half as he connected on his first five shots of the game, four of which were 3-pointers.

Cade Cunningham struggled offensively in the first half after scoring a season-high 22 points against the Pacers on Saturday. The Pistons star couldn’t find much success at the rim and was often short on his 3-point attempts. However, Cunningham found some momentum after the halftime break as he was able to score a series of layups, mid-range shots and free throws. He had 19 points, three rebounds and three assists.

Saddiq Bey entered Tuesday’s game as the Pistons’ third-leading scorer at 18 points per game. However, the third-year forward had a rough shooting night despite playing in his hometown of Washington, D.C. He finished with six points on 2-for-5 shooting in 27 minutes.

Flint native Monte Morris entered Tuesday’s game with the third-highest 3-point percentage in the league (71.4%), but couldn’t find his mark from beyond the arc. He connected on one of his four attempts from deep and finished with nine points, six rebounds and six assists.

Wizards star Bradley Beal left the game and went to the locker room in the first half with back tightness. He returned midway through in the third quarter. He appeared to be OK following the break as he was able to knock down two contested mid-range jumpers while he was fouled. He totaled 13 points and six assists.

The Pistons had trouble taking care of the ball in the first half, racking up 10 turnovers through the first 24 minutes. Despite the early giveaways, the team finished with 13 by the end of the game.

Washington has won each of the last six matchups and are 10-2 against the Pistons over the last three seasons (since 2019-20).

After failing to leave three road arenas with a victory, the Pistons will return to Detroit for a three-game homestand. Atlanta will visit Little Caesars Arena in back-to-back games on Wednesday and Friday before the reigning champion Golden State Warriors come to town on Sunday.


Twitter: @MikeACurtis2

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