Pistons beat Wizards 99-90 to end 13-game slide
Howard Fendrich | 1/13/2010, 11:52 a.m.
Wizards captain Antawn Jamison, who scored 31 points, drives's past the
Piston's Charlie Villanueva, who scored 23 points.
Photo By John E. DeFreitas
The Detroit Pistons finally found a team in worse shape than they are and ended a 13-game losing streak by beating the Washington Wizards 99-90 behind Charlie Villanueva's 23 points and nine rebounds Tuesday night, Jan. 12.
Richard Hamilton and Rodney Stuckey each scored 19 for the Pistons, who hadn't enjoyed a victory in a month: They beat Golden State on Dec. 12.
Detroit lost by 33 points at Chicago on Monday night, and a defeat against Washington would have tied the longest single-season losing streak in franchise history.
Antawn Jamison led the Wizards with 31 points and 10 rebounds, while Randy Foye - who took over at point guard when Gilbert Arenas was suspended indefinitely by the NBA - had 20 points and 10 assists.
An announced crowd of only 13,544 showed up to watch these struggling teams. The Pistons came into Tuesday with an 11-25 record, and Washington was 12-23; in the Eastern Conference, only the NBA-worst New Jersey Nets have fewer victories.
Detroit can chalk up its difficulties, in part anyway, to injuries: Key players Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince and Ben Gordon have all missed time. While Hamilton is back in the lineup, Prince and Gordon were out Tuesday.
The Wizards? Well, yes, they were without guard Mike Miller because his bothersome right calf flared up again, but injuries are the least of their worries, what with suspensions and distractions galore.
Nearly all traces of Arenas have been purged from Washington's arena, including a banner that used to hang outside, since he was suspended. The Wizards have been missing players at practices and shootarounds, including Tuesday, because they have been taking turns talking to authorities about the Arenas gun investigation.
Wizards guard Randy Foye entertains the crowd with a dunk over
Detroit's Jonas Jerebko. Photo By John E.DeFreitas
Javaris Crittenton, a teammate involved in the spat that led to Arenas' taking his guns out of his locker, has been excused from attending practices or games until there is a resolution to the legal issues.
Adding to it all, against Detroit, Washington was without forward Andray Blatche, who was suspended for one game, apparently for complaining about not getting shots via designed plays.
Foye put together a decidedly Arenas-like spurt in the first quarter, scoring nine consecutive Wizards points on a 3-pointer, three layups and a 19-foot jumper.
It was part of an all-around superb quarter for Foye, who also finished the period with four assists. Jamison scored 10 in the quarter, which ended with Washington ahead 27-21.
The second quarter was a different story: The Pistons held the Wizards to a season-low 11 points in the quarter, when Washington made only 4-of-21 shots. That helped Detroit lead 48-38 at halftime, and the visitors were up 67-64 heading into the fourth quarter.
NOTES: The Pistons lost 14 games in a row in the 1979-80 and 1993-94 seasons. ... Stuckey tied a career high with 11 assists. ... Washington coach Flip Saunders on disciplining Blatche: "You hope that they understand why. It's like dealing with your kids. You have to do things. As I tried to explain when I talked to Andray: 'It's not against you. It's against what you did. How you acted. So it's nothing against you.' I don't hold grudges over those type of things." ... Miller was out for about six weeks before returning to action Friday, then playing again Sunday, when he aggravated his calf. "He might be out a week or so. We don't know yet," Saunders said. ... Prince missed a consecutive game with a sore left knee, and Gordon was out after straining his right groin in Monday's loss. Will Bynum missed a seventh straight game with a sprained left ankle.