Westbrook, Wizards beat Pistons 106-92 despite Beal injury

on Mar28
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Russell Westbrook had 19 points, 19 rebounds and 10 assists, and the Washington Wizards completed a 106-92 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Saturday night after All-Star guard Bradley Beal’s injury-shortened outing.

Beal had 17 points in 21 minutes before the NBA’s leading scorer departed early in the third quarter with a bruised hip after starting the game with a sore right foot.

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“I’ve been around a lot of guys that can bounce back, and he might be one of the best ones,” Wizards coach Scott Brooks said of Beal’s prognosis. “We’ll see how he feels tomorrow and then make the decision come next game.”

Washington nearly gave back a 30-point lead after Beal left. But Westbrook’s NBA-best 15th triple-double helped the Wizards secure just their second win in 10 games since the All-Star break.

Rui Hachimura added 14 points and Daniel Gafford had 13 in his debut for the Wizards, who began the night in 13th place, four games back of Chicago for the 10th and final Eastern Conference play-in spot.

“He brought a good energy today,” Hachimura said of Gafford, his fellow second-year pro. “We kind of need a guy like that.”

Wayne Ellington scored 15 points for the last-place Pistons, who have lost four in a row and 14 of their last 18. They also lost a starter in the third, when Jerami Grant departed with a thigh bruise.

Detroit shot 38.8% from the floor and committed 19 turnovers.

Beal picked up his injury late in the second quarter on an awkward fall after driving and charging into Detroit’s Saddiq Bey. He remained in through halftime, but was removed with 8:57 to go in the third as Washington held a 74-46 lead.

Detroit immediately responded with a 23-2 run to close the deficit to 76-69, then eventually got the game within a single possession when Isaiah Stewart’s layup cut it to 82-79.

Detroit coach Dwane Casey said the Pistons’ effort level and focus were low in the first half.

“That was the message at halftime. I was proud the way the guys came back in the third quarter,” he said.

But Washington outscored Detroit 24-13 over the final 10:13, a stretch that included Westbrook’s last four assists.

“We got stops (and) executed,” Westbrook said.

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TIP-INS

Pistons: Were without G Rodney McGruder (right elbow sprain), G/F Hamidou Diallo (groin/injury management) and G Dennis Smith Jr. (back soreness). … Grant picked up a technical with 2:19 left in the first quarter.

Wizards: Allowed 41 first-half points, their fewest of the season. … F/G Chandler Hutchinson also dressed, but did not play, after he and Gafford were acquired Thursday in a trade that sent F Troy Brown Jr. to Chicago and C Moe Wagner to Boston.

GAFFE-LESS GAFFORD

Gafford finished 6 of 7 from the floor, and also had five rebounds and three blocks in the first game for his new team. In the process, the 22-year-old known for his verticality impressed his new boss.

“I thought he had just a fantastic game, great first game for him,” said Brooks. “He’s definitely a keeper. He has a chance to be really good for a long time.”

ALREADY MAKING HISTORY

Westbrook’s 15 triple-doubles in his first season in Washington tie him with Darrell Walker for the career franchise record. Westbrook reached the milestone in his 37th game with the team. Walker played 283 games for the then-Washington Bullets from 1987-1991.

UP NEXT

Pistons: Host Toronto on Monday.

Wizards: Host Indiana on Monday.



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