The Detroit Pistons had not beaten a team other than Cleveland in three weeks until getting a visit from the woeful Washington Wizards, who were blasted by their coach after another embarrassing defeat.
Detroit looks to sweep the home-and-home set Saturday night by sending Washington to a seventh consecutive loss and winning for the fifth time in six trips to the nation's capital.
The Pistons (8-21) crushed Phoenix 117-77 at home on Nov. 28 before dropping 10 of their next 12 contests, beating only the Cavaliers on Dec. 3 and Dec. 8.
That victory over the Suns followed a win against Portland on Nov. 26 and marked the only time Detroit has won consecutive games this season. It can do so again Saturday after Friday's 100-68 win over the Wizards (3-21).
"Greg is such a skilled guy that he's able not just to score, but he's able to find open teammates, plus put the ball on the floor and create some advantage situations," coach Lawrence Frank told the team's official website. "He was good."
Monroe, who played his collegiate home games for Georgetown at the Verizon Center, also added nine rebounds to help the Pistons end a six-game losing streak. It marked the first time they held an opponent to less than 70 points since an 85-69 win over Miami on March 27, 2008.
"We can't get too high right now," Monroe said. "We have to figure out what we have to clean up."
Detroit now will look to improve on its 2-13 road record against these same Wizards after coach Randy Wittman's rant following Friday's rout.
It marked their second loss by at least 30 points in the last week after falling 102-72 at Miami last Saturday.
"That was an embarrassment, and I apologize to our ownership and to our fans,'' Wittman said. "I especially apologize to anyone who watched that entire game. I would have turned it off after the first five minutes.''
Jordan Crawford scored a game-high 20 points for Washington, which had only nine available players because of injuries. Rookie Bradley Beal missed a second straight game with a sore lower back.
"This was a situation where we had some key guys out, which meant our other guys had a chance to step up and prove that they belong in the NBA,'' Wittman said. "That didn't happen. We may only have nine guys, but I need to find five of them who are willing to show me that they deserve to be here.''
Emeka Okafor added eight points for the Wizards, who haven't won since beating New Orleans 77-70 on Dec. 11. They've also dropped 11 of the last 13 meetings with Detroit.
"It's not fun when these games happen, but they haven't happened too often with this team,'' Okafor said. "You try to fight against it, but the more you fight, the more you feel like you are in quicksand."
Detroit's Rodney Stuckey was hit in the mouth in the fourth quarter and did not return. Frank said he expects Stuckey to travel with the team but didn't elaborate on his status for Saturday's game.
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