Markieff Morris led all scorers with 23 points and seldom-used guard Tomas Satoransky notched a career-high 17 points off the bench as the Washington Wizards defeated the Detroit Pistons 109-91 at Capital One Arena on Friday.
Trailing 52-46 at the half, the Wizards (12-10) began the third quarter on a 17-0 run to take control of the game, and Detroit (14-7) never truly threatened from that point.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it was the longest run to begin a half so far this season.
It was also Morris’ first 20-point game this season since the power forward returned to the lineup last month after recovering from sports hernia surgery.
“It felt good,” he said. “It’s about time I had a good game. I have to keep pressing forward and be more aggressive.”
Washington outrebounded Detroit 49-32, despite Pistons center Andre Drummond, who came into Friday averaging a league-best 15 boards per game, pulling down 17 rebounds to go with 14 points.
But Wizards head coach Scott Brooks said defense will be what he’ll continue to preach.
The defense came through in the third quarter, when Washington held Detroit to 5 for 19 from the field and outscored the Pistons 35-15.
A pleasant surprise for Washington came from Satoransky, whose minutes have increased during injured All-Star point guard John Wall’s recent absence.
“It’s the first time I understand how important it is to stay ready here because you never know what the situation might be,” Satoransky said. “You never want to see anyone get hurt, but that’s what can happen and you have to stay ready mentally. It’s the tough part, but every professional should.”
The Wizards improved to 3-3 on the season without Wall, who has missed the past four games with an inflamed left knee and is expected out at least another week.
The team begins a four-game West Coast road trip that begins Monday in Utah. The Wizards head east on Dec. 12 to face the Brooklyn Nets before returning home the next night against the Memphis Grizzlies.
“I think that’s why [Friday’s] game was so important because … going to the West is also very hard,” Satoransky said. “We have to get some rest and be ready for travel and be ready to play these games.”
Capital City Go-Go
Wizards CEO Ted Leonsis held a brief press conference at halftime to talk about name of the team’s G League affiliate: Capital City Go-Go, inspired by the District’s signature music genre.
The team will play 24 home games next year at a new state-of-the-art venue on the former St. Elizabeths campus in Southeast.
“We asked neighbors did they think that this was an appropriate homage to music that we kind of grew up with that we felt good about,” Leonsis said. “I just think that it’s so endemic to our city. We wanted a very authentic voice and people had an immediate connection to. The name was very organic.”
The arena, which will also be used as a Wizards practice facility and home of the WNBA’s Washington Mystics, will be owned and operated by the Leonsis-founded Monumental Sports and Entertainment.
Monumental Sports will partner with Events DC to promote the G League team as well as music concerts and other programs.
“The fact that we’re going to be in Ward 8 [will] be a catalyst for the city,” said Events DC president and CEO Greg O’Dell. “Both in terms of driving development there, but also driving jobs … for residents across the city, but specifically for Ward 8 and Ward 7 across the river as well.”
In regard to go-go music, some of it hasn’t grown on Wizards shooting guard and St. Louis native Bradley Beal.
“It’s some stuff I can listen to and some I just can’t get down with,” he said. “For the most part, I’m in D.C. now, so I guess I have to adapt to it.”