Ailing Pistons look to score versus Wizards

NBA

The banged-up Detroit Pistons will try to win their second game in a row when they visit the Washington Wizards on Monday night.

The Pistons pulled off a 113-109 win over the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday night despite being without a quartet of playmakers.

Detroit was minus injured point guards Reggie Jackson (back), Derrick Rose (hamstring) and Tim Frazier (shoulder) as well as well as forward Blake Griffin, who missed his seventh game with left knee soreness.

Rose could return against the Wizards and Griffin might join him as the Pistons complete a stretch of three games in four days.

Against the Nets, second-year guard Bruce Brown made his first career start as a point guard and had 22 points and seven assists.

Andre Drummond had 25 points and 20 rebounds, and Luke Kennard finished with 24 points, including a layup and two free throws in the final 30 seconds.

“They were holding, grabbing him, not letting him come off of pin-downs,” coach Dwane Casey said of Kennard, his 23-year-old shooting guard. “That’s his next step of growth.”

Drummond compiled at least 20 points and 20 rebounds for the third straight game and fourth time in seven games this season.

Detroit did not commit a turnover in the second half.

“Every win is a big one, but especially with some big leaders out for us, it’s huge,” Kennard said. “We’ve lost a couple now and we knew we needed one, no matter who was out. It says a lot about the group and the coaches.”

The team learned on Saturday that Jackson will be out at least four weeks with a stress reaction in his back.

The Wizards are suffering in a different kind of way: they can’t stop opponents from scoring.

Washington has lost three straight and allowed 414 points in the process. The first two games were close — including a thrilling 159-158 home loss to the Houston Rockets — but their latest effort was 131-109 blowout loss to the visiting Minnesota Timberwolves, who were without star center Karl-Anthony Towns due to suspension.

The Wizards trailed throughout the game. The Wolves were ahead by 10 points with 3 1/2 minutes gone in the second quarter and increased their lead steadily.

“You got to communicate,” Wizards coach Scott Brooks said of improving the defense. “The thing is if you don’t, this is when we struggle. … We have a lot of quiet guys and we have to be aware of that and we have to try to make sure that we are communicating. If you don’t communicate, it’s guessing.”

Bradley Beal scored 30 points for Washington and Isaiah Thomas was next with 16.

Wizards rookie forward Rui Hachimura, who had 23 points against Houston, was held to four by Minnesota. He missed nine of his 11 field goal attempts. Hachimura entered the game averaging 18 points in his first four NBA games.

“He’ll learn that as he continues to play, the game will slow down for him,” Beal said. “Right now it’s probably 100 mph.”

Washington was outrebounded 47-39 by Minnesota, and Beal said that will be one of the keys against Detroit.

“I’m sure it’ll be rebounding. That’s something we’ve been struggling with the past couple of games,” Beal said. “Controlling the boards, limiting teams to one shot. (Andre) Drummond can give you 30 and 20 on any night. We’ve got our hands full, it’s not an easy task.”

–Field Level Media

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