Wizards beat Pistons at buzzer originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
The Washington Wizards beat the Detroit Pistons 119-117 on Tuesday night. Here are five takeaways from what went down…
Gafford with the winner
Daniel Gafford is shooting the highest field goal percentage in the NBA this season because he is often in the right place at the right time and he makes his opportunities count. He did all of that in a big moment to beat the Pistons on Tuesday night.
Bradley Beal’s baseline floater in the closing seconds with the game tied sailed long, but Gafford was on the other side of the rim, all by himself. He sank a putback layup at the buzzer, as the Wizards took out the Pistons on the road to improve to 31-34 on the season.
This game was originally scheduled for Feb. 1, but was postponed due to weather. If you recall, the Pistons were stuck in Dallas and couldn’t fly home.
The win helped the Wizards bounce back from two straight losses. They will now head home to see the Hawks in two consecutive games, the first on Wednesday on the second night of a back-to-back.
GAFF FTW 🔥 pic.twitter.com/aCXrM96k0Y
— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) March 8, 2023
Big game for Beal
There were a lot of players who put up good numbers in this win, but Beal stood out with a particularly impressive stat line. He had 32 points, seven assists and seven rebounds, shooting 14-for-21 from the field. He also had a block and a steal.
Beal had some turnover issues early on and ended up with four of them, but all in all it was a monster night for the Wizards star. He pretty much did all of his damage from two-point range. Beal was 1-for-2 from three and 3-for-5 from the free throw line. Of his 14 made shots, 10 of them came in the paint. He regularly got to the rim and finished through contact among the Pistons’ bigs.
Kispert stayed hot
Corey Kispert has really been heating up lately. He went off for 16 points against the Pistons, including four threes. He had nine points and three three-pointers in the first quarter. The Wizards kept finding him on drive-and-kick actions and the Pistons gave him too much space for how well he was shooting the ball. That was the case at least early on, as they seemed to learn their lesson and guard him closer in the second half.
This was the ninth straight game Kispert has made at least one three and his fifth consecutive multi-three game. After shooting 4-for-5 from deep in this one, Kispert is 16-for-25 (64%) over his last five games. That’s elite stuff.
Kyle Kuzma was back in the lineup after missing Sunday’s game with right knee soreness. Kuzma first hurt his knee on Thursday against Toronto, then aggravated it on a collision in Saturday’s game. He was listed as questionable for this game, but was able to give it a go, perhaps with some extra motivation given it was in Michigan, where he’s from. His mom was in attendance and joined the NBC Sports Washington broadcast.
Kuzma took a little while to get going with three turnovers in the first half, but he had a big second half with 16 points. He ended up with 23 points on 9-for-20 shooting with two steals and a block. His block was with 23 seconds left as he took the ball from Isaiah Liver, setting up the final possession for the win.
It’s fairly remarkable and perhaps underrated just how good Delon Wright has been this year at generating steals. He had five of them against the Pistons, moving his season total to 76. That’s easily the most on the Wizards, with Deni Avdija in second with 56 steals. Wright, though, has only played in 36 of the Wizards’ 65 games.
This was Wright’s 24th multi-steal game in the 36 games he’s played. Wright actually leads the NBA this season in steals per game (2.0), though not among qualified players. Unfortunately for Wright, he will miss the cutoff of playing at least 58 of his team’s games. If it weren’t for that, he would have a real chance for the steals crown.