NBA: Kyle Kuzma, Wizards send Pistons to another loss
Kyle Kuzma scored 17 of his 23 points in the third quarter as the Washington Wizards notched a 103-94 win over the visiting Detroit Pistons on Monday.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had 16 points and Deni Avdija recorded his second double-double of the season with 12 points and a career-high 15 rebounds for Washington, which has won its first two meetings against Detroit this season.
Detroit lost its eighth straight despite a strong outing from Saddiq Bey, who scored 24 points. Jerami Grant scored 14 points, Cade Cunningham added 12, Isaiah Stewart had 11, and Marvin Bagley III and Hamidou Diallo had 10 apiece.
Kuzma was 10-for-18 shooting and grabbed seven rebounds for the Wizards, who led 97-88 with 4:23 remaining after a Caldwell-Pope 3-pointer.
— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) February 15, 2022
Cory Joseph’s trey with two minutes left cut the deficit to 99-91 before Washington answered with four quick points to secure the win.
Washington led 24-22 after the first quarter while struggling to slow down Bey, who scored 11 of Detroit’s first 13 points.
The Wizards extended their lead to 40-28 with 6:43 left in the second quarter before Detroit tied the game at 50 after closing the half on a 22-10 run.
Bey scored 18 points in the first half for Detroit, which fell to 12-45 overall and 4-25 on the road.
Kuzma took control in the third quarter with 17 points, including a 3-pointer with 3.1 seconds left to give the Wizards an 87-78 lead heading into the final period.
Thomas Bryant and Raul Neto scored 11 points apiece and Corey Kispert added 10 for Washington, which held the Pistons to 37.6 percent shooting.
Bagley made his Pistons debut after being acquired from the Sacramento Kings on Thursday in a four-team deal. The 6-foot-11 forward grabbed eight rebounds in 21 minutes.
Washington forward Rui Hachimura exited the game early in the second quarter with a sprained right ankle and did not return.
The Wizards played without centers Daniel Gafford (health and safety protocol) and Kristaps Porzingis, who was acquired from the Dallas Mavericks at Thursday’s trade deadline. Porzingis is listed as day-to-day with a bone bruise in his right knee.