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Pistons show no mercy for Wizards

The SportsXchange

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- The Detroit Pistons have experienced too much disappointment this season to feel sorry for the downtrodden Washington Wizards.

Greg Monroe and Brandon Knight had 15 points apiece as the Detroit Pistons snapped a six-game losing streak with a 100-68 victory over the depleted Wizards at The Palace Friday night. Washington, which lost its sixth straight, had just nine available players and became the first Pistons opponent since 2008 to score below 70 points.

The blowout was the first game of a home-and-home series between the clubs, who own the worst and fourth-worst records in the league. The rematch will be played in Washington Saturday night.

"It's good to taste that winning feeling after losing some games in a row," Pistons coach Lawrence Frank said. "Now the challenge gets stiffer because you've got to play the same opponent on their court."

Rookie Andre Drummond racked up a career-high 14 rebounds and five blocks to go along with 11 points for the Pistons (8-21), who never trailed. Drummond entered the game leading all qualifying rookies in blocks and tied for first with Charlotte's Michael Kidd-Gilchrist in rebounding and continued to make his presence felt.

"He's done a great job of coming in and playing with a lot of energy, doing what the coaches ask him to do," Monroe said. "He controlled the boards and he controlled the paint. He's only going to get better but I'm not surprised with anything he's doing right now. He's doing his job."

Jordan Crawford's 20 points, seven rebounds and seven assists topped the Wizards (3-21), who lost for the sixth consecutive time while scoring a season low.

Coach Randy Wittman was mortified by his team's performance, regardless of its lack of bodies.

"I do not care who is in or who is not in. I apologize to ownership and the fans back home that watched it, if they did watch it," he said. "I would have turned it off after the first five minutes. I have to find five that can play with confidence, like they belong in the NBA."

Washington's second-leading scorer and top rebounder Nene was a late scratch because of a left foot injury he has battled all season. Rookie guard and third-leading scorer Bradley Beal sat out his second consecutive game with a sore back.

"It's like you're stuck in quicksand," Wizards center Emeka Okafor said. "The harder you fight, you're just sinking faster."

The teams combined to miss 17 of the first 19 shot attempts before Detroit took control while Washington (3-21) continued to misfire. A 19-2 outburst spanning the first and second quarters gave the Pistons a 35-14 lead.

Knight and Charlie Villanueva hit 3-pointers late in the first quarter. Drummond got rolling early in the second with three consecutive inside baskets off penetration moves by Rodney Stuckey. The Wizards could only manage a Crawford layup during that span.

Paced by Knight's 11 points, Detroit had three players in double figures by halftime and led 53-34. Monroe and Drummond combined for 17 points and 14 rebounds and Drummond had already established his career best with four blocks.

Tayshaun Prince's 3-pointer from the top of the key widened the lead to 27, 70-43, midway through the third. Washington eventually trailed by as much as 34.

"It's always fun to get a win, especially at home, but we can't get too high right now," Monroe said. "We have to figure out what to clean up a little bit because we're expecting some different people to play for them (Saturday)."

Stuckey (11 points) took an elbow in the mouth from Washington's Kevin Seraphin with 10:03 remaining and did not return. Ukranian center Viacheslav Kravtsov made his NBA debut by replacing Stuckey as the free throw shooter. He played six minutes and had three points.

Notes: The Pistons have won nine of their last 10 at home against the Wizards. ... The last time Detroit held a team under 70 came during an 85-69 victory over Miami on March 27, 2008. ... Pistons reserve forward Corey Maggette, their highest-paid player, was inactive. He recently lost his rotation spot to Austin Daye. ... The Wizards, ranked last in scoring (89.7 points per game) and offensive field-goal percentage (40.7 percent), shot 32.9 percent. ... Wittman has started 12 of the 15 players on his roster. ... Detroit's bench outscored Washington's reserves 48-11. ... Martell Webster and Seraphin added 10 points each for Washington but shot a combined 7 for 25 from the field.
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