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Bench leads Pistons to another win over Wizards

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WASHINGTON -- His team off to yet another horrid offensive start, Wizards coach Randy Wittman barked at the officials, picking up a desired technical in the process. The maneuver was part motivation, part looking for an early exit. Like his languishing team, Wittman couldn't get achieve the desired outcome.

"Hell, I've been trying to get thrown out for a while. These guys won't even throw me out," the coach cracked after the Wizards' seventh straight loss, 96-87 to the Detroit Pistons on Saturday night.

Charlie Villanueva scored a season-high 19 points and Rodney Stuckey had 18 as the Pistons (9-21) wrapped up a successful home-and-home series against the Wizards. Detroit entered the two-game set on a six-game losing streak but dominated Washington (3-22), owner of the NBA's worst record, on consecutive nights.

Taking advantage of atrocious early shooting by the Wizards, Detroit never trailed, led by 21 at halftime, and held its largest lead at 59-37 early in the third quarter. Greg Monroe added 13 points for the Pistons, who held a dominating 58-43 rebounding advantage.

"It's just us. We just got to continue to build our habits," Pistons coach Lawrence Frank said. "It's obviously good to taste wins, especially when we've lost a bunch in a row."

Led by Villanueva and Stuckey, the Pistons' bench scored 52 points and rookie Andre Drummond grabbed 11 rebounds.

"We had a lot of big plays. I thought our bench was huge," Frank said. "We couldn't have won the game without them.

It doesn't matter who is playing for the Wizards these days. Since upsetting Miami on Dec. 4, the Wizards have lost four straight home games and nine of 10 overall.

Without Nene and Bradley Beal in the lineup Friday, Washington missed 10 of its first 11 shots en route to losing 100-68, the team's most lopsided defeat of the season.

Both players returned and started in the rematch. Same clanking start; Washington started 1 of 15 from the field, scored only six points during the opening 10 minutes and shot 17.4 percent (4 of 23) in the first quarter.

Wittman blamed lack of execution for Friday's loss. This time he took no issue with the shot attempts, just the result and subsequent glum looks.

"We get into that start and you can just see it in their eyes," Wittman said. "We miss a 5-foot shot, a putback and open jumper. Their eyes. I don't like that look."

Still working his way back from a foot injury, Nene made his first start of the season and finished with 10 points and seven rebounds. Asked for his take on the two games against Detroit, Nene said, "It's embarrassing. No words better than that."

Down 22 in the third quarter, Washington found life during a 21-4 run, with Jordan Crawford scoring seven of the final nine points. Stuckey slowed the momentum with a 3-pointer as the Pistons scored eight straight and led 74-64 entering the fourth. Crawford scored 20 of his 21 in the second half, and his 3-pointer with five minutes left made the score 88-81, but Washington got no closer.

Detroit won consecutive games for the first time since Nov. 26-28. Villanueva made three 3-pointers and shot 8 of 13 from the field. The veteran forward had scored 23 points in his previous four games combined.

"Playing a team back to back is very difficult, especially the way we won last night," Villanueva said. "We knew they were going to come out and give us all they had. Give them credit. They made their run, but we stayed poised and made the plays and got the stops that we needed."

Emeka Okafor scored 14 points and matched his season high with 14 rebounds for the Wizards. Beal also scored 14 points after missing the previous two games with a sore back.

Trailing 22-13 after the first quarter, Cartier Martin's fourth consecutive jumper pulled Washington closer at 25-18. Later in the quarter, the Pistons countered with three straight 3-pointers. Stuckey's layup closed the first half scoring with Detroit ahead 54-35.

NOTES: Pistons forward Tayshaun Prince sprained his ankle in the third quarter and did not return. ... In the two games against Washington, Drummond grabbed 25 rebounds. ... Inactive in both games against Washington, Corey Maggette sat out his fourth straight game as a healthy scratch. Rookie guard Kim English took Maggette's spot on the active roster. ... Wizards coach Randy Wittman said John Wall continues working with the training staff, but has not participated in a team practice. The point guard, who has missed the entire season with a left patella stress reaction, received the last of three Synvisc injections on Nov. 14. ... Both teams return to action after Christmas, with the Pistons at Atlanta and the Wizards hosting Cleveland.
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