“At the end of the first quarter, I thought I had a chance to get Kevin Porter’s (team) record of 25, but I don’t think the coach and I had the same mindset,” Bynum said after Detroit’s 101-87 victory.
“That means a lot to me,” said Bynum, a Chicago native like Thomas. “I grew up watching Isiah play, and to do something that he did is huge.”
Bynum needed three chances for his 20th assist in the final moments, but rookie DeJuan Summers missed a pair of jumpers before Gordon’s last-ditch shot.
“I think my teammates wanted it more than I did,” Bynum said. “I knew my buddy Ben would come through for me on that last shot. We work together on that play every day in practice.”
“Obviously, Will was just great in place of Rodney tonight,” Pistons coach John Kuester said. “Twenty assists is a great accomplishment for anyone.”
Bynum’s performance was a rare highlight in a matchup of two of the Eastern Conference’s worst teams. Detroit won for just the second time in nine games, while the Wizards lost their sixth straight.
“We got down early, we had too many turnovers and we just couldn’t get into our offense,” Washington coach Flip Saunders said.
Because of the February blizzard, Washington will finish a rare back-to-back-to-back set when it hosts Orlando on Saturday.
“JaVale just didn’t look as good tonight as he has other nights,” Saunders said. “Some say he has All-Star potential, but tonight he was like a CBA All-Star, if that.”
That meant the Pistons spent much of the second quarter with 6-foot-11 Austin Daye(notes) spelling Bynum at point guard, but it didn’t hurt them. Detroit outscored Washington 29-17 in the period while building a 56-40 halftime lead.
NOTES: Jonas Jerebko(notes) picked up Detroit’s third technical after a verbal exchange with Singleton. … Bynum, listed generously at an even 6-foot, also matched his career best by blocking a shot. Bynum has four blocks this season— more than either Gordon or Richard Hamilton(notes)—and six in his career. “The one tonight came against Earl (Boykins), so I’m not sure I should count that.” … Detroit is 7-1 against Washington in the last two seasons, including a four-game sweep of this year’s season series against Saunders, a former Pistons coach.