It was a tale of two halves. The Wizards could do almost nothing right in the first half, then flipped the script in the second to ultimately come up just short of a preseason win on Tuesday night in Detroit. The Pistons ended up winning 99-96 in front of a sparse crowd at The Palace of Auburn Hills, but the real test will come next Wednesday when these two teams meet again in the regular season opener.
The Pistons scored 37 points in the first quarter, shooting 70% from the field. They then built up a 22 point halftime lead, heading to the break up 65-43. It was something Randy Wittman said can't happen if this team wants to achieve it's goals.
"We did not show up. Our guys think they can turn it on and off like a light switch and we are kidding ourselves. We came out and did not play with each other and why we continue to fall back? I have to figure that out. That was an embarrassment."
But, the team did respond to his halftime message as they came out with a different intensity in the second half and came all the way back to tie the score at 83 apiece with six minutes left.
The Pistons would go on an 8-0 run to reestablish the
lead, but the Wizards hung tough and battled right back to give themselves a chance to pull out the win. Glen Rice Jr. knocked down a triple with 34.1 seconds left to cut the deficit to two, as the Wiz trailed 98-96. After Greg Monroe made one of two free throws with six seconds left, Rice had a chance to tie the game with a three at the buzzer but it was off the mark and the Pistons held on for the win.
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Once again it was Bradley Beal who led the Wizards in scoring, finishing the game with 17 points. Nene played his best game of the preseason, finishing with 15 points, five rebounds, and three assists. He had a few thunderous dunks in his 22 minutes of play. Kevin Seraphin also had his best game of the preseason and was a big part of the Wizards comeback in the fourth quarter. He finished the game with 14 points and 11 boards off the bench. John Wall ended up with 11 points but surprisingly was held without an assist in 27 minutes of action.
Up next, the Wizards play the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday night in Cincinnati to finish out the preseason. The game will not be on TV but can be heard on 106.7 FM.