The Washington Wizards experienced a lot of what other teams in the Eastern Conference have experienced when facing the Detroit Pistons tonight, plenty of scoring and a offensive machine that was firing on all cylinders.
Detroit was led by Richard “Rip” Hamilton’s 20 points, nine assists and seven rebounds were just too much for any combination the Wizards threw at him. Hamilton also became the Pistons 10th leading scorer tonight, what a better team to do it against than the team that traded him to the Motor City.
Detroit, continued to impress not just their fans but opposing coaches as well. They improved to 25-7 overall, 17-2 against Eastern Conference opponents. Detroit coach Flip Saunders was honored Wednesday as the East’s coach of the month after his club went 15-2 in December.
“They have a very well rounded team and tonight they showed why everyone in the Eastern Conference respects this team when they step on any court. We just did not have any answers for them,” said Wizards Head Coach Eddie Jordan.
Detroit used a 10-0 run that began at the end of the second quarter and finished with consecutive 3-pointers by Chauncey Billups to open the third quarter, making it 63-47. That pretty much put an end to the competitive portion of the proceedings, with the Pistons leading by as many as 20.
Washington kept the game close in the third quarter and again were led by Caron Butler and Antwan Jamison. The two combined for 43 of the Wizards 93 points, hard to match the Pistons starting five, who all scored in double figures tonight.
Tonight marked the return of guard Antonio Daniels who returned after missing seven games with a sprained right knee. He finished with 18 points and two assists in 36 minutes.
The other big story of the night was the return of Pistons forward Jarvis Hayes to Washington. He really hurt the Wizards with his long range shooting. He finished with 12 points off the bench and 3 for 5 from long range.
The biggest cheering of the night came when Redskins running back Clinton Portis was shown on the big screen and like the Wizards have done a lot of this season, a stretch of boos erupted when the Pistons headed to the free throw line with Seattle Seahawks and Dallas Cowboys logos were shown. It did not really help the Wizards, but it hopefully will help Portis lead the Skins this weekend in Seattle.
Richard “Rip” Hamilton Continues to Lead the Pistons, Tonight He Scored 20 Points Against the Wizards