For the second time this season, the Wizards broke out of a
slump by beating the NBA's top team. Gilbert Arenas scored 34
points and Caron Butler had 30 in Saturday night's 110-92 victory.
"After the game, we said, 'Why can't we play like this for 21
more games? With that sort of effort, that sort of discipline, that
sort of force," Wizards coach Eddie Jordan said. "That's the
challenge we'll have every night."
The Wizards ended a five-game losing streak by beating Detroit
in two overtimes on Nov. 25, and they are still the only Eastern
Conference team with a road win over the Pistons. On Saturday, the
Wizards ended a 1-5 slide and kept themselves from moving below
Washington and Utah are the only teams with two victories over
Detroit this season.
"We knew if we lost this game, our back was really going to be
against the wall," forward Antawn Jamison said. "It was another
show of character as far as fighting and finding a way to get a
The Wizards won by shooting 55 percent, including 59 percent
through the first three quarters. They led by six at halftime and
then pulled away, scoring the first eight points of the second half
to build a 14-point lead. Back-to-back 3-pointers from Antonio
Daniels and Jamison then put Washington in full control.
Detroit has lost three of five, matching its worst stretch of
"It's probably just being a little overconfident," point guard
Chauncey Billups said, "coming out knowing that we can turn it on
like a light switch and win the game, like we've done so many
"But a lot of times the best thing about your team is the worst
thing about your team, too. That's what we're going through right
now. We're coming out so unaggressive, and these teams start
Arenas made 13 of 19 shots and was 4-of-8 on 3-pointers in his
30th 30-point game of the season. Butler was 10-for-14 from the
field. Daniels, starting for the injured Jared Jeffries, added 16
points. The Wizards made a season-high 12 3-pointers.
Arenas said his teammates were fired up because of his ongoing
revenge tour against Eastern Conference coaches, who as a group
didn't select him for the All-Star game. Arenas made the All-Star
game only as a late injury replacement, and he played the fewest
minutes of any East player. Detroit coach Flip Saunders was the
"I said that I was going to get Flip back," Arenas said. "My
team was behind me, they were ready to go. Easy way to get them
Both teams shot well in a fast-paced first half. Washington led
59-53 at the break thanks to better 3-point shooting, going
Butler and Arenas hit 3-pointers, and Brendan Haywood followed
with a 4-foot hook shot to start the second half, giving the
Wizards a 67-53 lead. Saunders grew frustrated as the half
progressed, and he was called for a technical for arguing a call
late in the third quarter.
"We have not defended how we need to defend," Saunders said.
"We've been too soft on the ball. ... They kicked out butts every
which way. I would like to point to one area and say that we did
something well, but we didn't."
Washington's 59 first-half points equaled the most allowed
by the Pistons this season. ... Jeffries missed his third straight
game with a strained left calf. ... The Wizards' last home win
against Detroit came on March 14, 2001. ... Several free agents
being courted by the Washington Redskins sat in the so-called
"dream seats" next to the Detroit bench in the second half.
Redskins owner Dan Snyder paid $10,000 for the seats.