Wall scores 22 points to help Wizards beat Pistons 98-86
WASHINGTON – John Wall scored 22 points and Bradley Beal had 17 to help the Washington Wizards beat the Detroit Pistons 98-86 on Friday night.
Markieff Morris scored six points in 22 minutes in his Wizards debut — against twin brother Marcus' Pistons — after arriving from the Phoenix Suns following a deal at trade deadline Thursday.
Marcin Gortat had 15 points for Washington. The Wizards never trailed and led by as many as 23 in their second straight comfortable victory against another team on the edge of the playoff picture.
Tenth-place Washington (25-28) pulled within a game of Detroit (26-27), which began the night a half-game behind Charlotte and Chicago in the race for the final Eastern Conference playoff spots.
Washington will finish the NBA's only three-game, three-day stretch at fellow playoff contender Miami on Saturday.
Tobias Harris scored 21 points on 9-of-12 shooting in his Detroit debut, three days after the Pistons acquired the forward from Orlando.
Reggie Jackson scored 16 points and Andre Drummond had 11 points and 13 rebounds for Detroit. The Pistons returned from the All-Star break with theirs fourth straight loss.
Detroit is still without Donatas Montiejunas and Marcus Thornton, both obtained from Houston in a deal made hours before the trade deadline.
Pistons: Coach Stan Van Gundy said he hopes Caldwell-Pope and Marcus Morris will benefit from fewer minutes as a result Detroit's deadline moves. Both are averaging more than 36.
"We've got a little less than eight weeks to go and we've got nine back-to-backs. I'd like to get their minutes down a little bit," Van Gundy said.
Wizards: Markieff Morris said he appreciated the praise given by former Suns and current Wizards players Gortat and Jared Dudley on Thursday after the trade was announced.
"It's just guys that actually know me, and not on the outside looking in," he said. "Getting compliments from those guys means a lot."
Pistons: Van Gundy said Montiejunas' visit to a back specialist is "all part of the physical." Montiejunas has played in only 14 games this season while dealing with back issues, but has played in four NBDL games since Jan. 30. ... Reserve F Reggie Bullock (broken nose) returned after missing the last game on Feb. 10 for surgery. ... F Aron Baynes (illness) played despite missing the morning shootaround.
Wizards: G Gary Neal (sore right leg) remained out. ... Washington allowed fewer than 90 points in back-to-back games for just the second time this season.
Pistons: Home against New Orleans on Sunday.
Wizards: At Miami on Saturday.
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