Wizards beat Pistons for best start since ’75

Washington, DC (SportsNetwork.com) – John Wall had 27 points and 11 assists
and the Washington Wizards beat the Detroit Pistons 107-103 on Wednesday night
for their best start to a season in almost 40 years.

Rasual Butler added 18 points off the bench, Paul Pierce scored 13 and Marcin
Gortat had 14 points and 13 rebounds in the win, which moved the Wizards to
6-2 for the first time since the start of the 1975-76 season.

“I just had the opportunity to get some good looks tonight,” said Butler.
“They went down for me. We did a good job executing our plays, and I was the
recipient of some good looks that coach Wittman’s offense creates for his

They have won their first three games at home for the first time since 2006.

Brandon Jennings scored a game-high 32 points for the Pistons. Kentavious
Caldwell-Pope added 20 points and Greg Monroe scored 18 in Detroit’s third
straight loss.

“We just have to stay together as a team and not get down on ourselves,”
Jennings said. “It’s still early. Things can change real fast in this league.
As long as we stay positive, we’ll be alright.”

The Wizards trailed by as many as 13 points in the game. They sealed the win
with a series of key plays down the stretch, including Gortat’s two-handed
baseline dunk after some tic-tac-toe passing by Wall and Nene, which gave them
a three-point lead with 38.4 seconds left.

Later, Wall missed the second of two free throws with 7.2 seconds remaining,
but Pierce tipped the rebound out to Butler, who then buried two foul shots to
make it 107-103 and seal the win.

After trailing by 13 in the first half, the Wizards led by as many as seven in
the third quarter after a 7-0 run. Wall scored five during the surge and nine
in the quarter, which ended with the Pistons leading 85-82.

Earlier, Jennings scored 16 points and the Pistons shot better than 56 percent
in the first quarter to take a 34-24 lead into the second.

They held Washington under 32 percent shooting in the quarter and took control
with an early 10-2 run capped by Jennings’ 3-pointer. Later, a 9-2 flurry gave
the Pistons a 13-point lead.

But the Wizards shot 65 percent in the second quarter to pull within 59-57 at
halftime. They never took the lead in the quarter, but did tie the score late.

Game Notes

Jennings had 10 assists … The Wizards started a four-game homestand that
continues on Saturday against Orlando … The Pistons will continue a four-
game road trip on Friday in Oklahoma City and finish it Saturday in Memphis.