Wizards’ defense steps up in 101-87 victory over Pistons

Washington Wizards forward Trevor Ariza, center, goes to the basket against Detroit Pistons forward Stanley Johnson (7) and forward Blake Griffin (23) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Jan. 21, 2019, in Washington. Also seen is Wizards center Thomas Bryant (13). The Wizards won 101-87. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Trevor Ariza scored 20 points, Otto Porter Jr. added 19 and the Washington Wizards turned in their best defensive performance this season in beating the Detroit Pistons 101-87 on Monday.

The Wizards held the Pistons to 30 percent shooting from the floor in the first half and never let their lead dip below 10 points in the second. Detroit’s 87 points were the fewest by a Washington opponent this season.

Seven Wizards players scored in double figures, including Bradley Beal with 16, and Tomas Satoransky had a game-high eight assists, including a pass through Zaza Pachula’s legs in the first quarter. After beating the New York Knicks in London, the Wizards now have won two in a row and are 7-3 in their past 10 games.

Blake Griffin led the Pistons with 29 points and nine rebounds. Detroit has lost back-to-back games and 10 of its last 14.

TIP-INS

Pistons: Their 34 first-half points set a new season-low. … C Andre Drummond missed his second consecutive game with a concussion. Coach Dwane Casey said Drummond is still in the concussion protocol and didn’t travel with the team … G Ish Smith sat out for the 21st time in 24 games because of a right adductor injury.

Wizards: Beat Detroit for the eighth consecutive time at home. … Signed G Gary Payton II to a 10-day contract 15 years after general manager Ernie Grunfeld, then with Milwaukee, traded for Payton’s father. … Played at home on Martin Luther King Jr. Day for the 20th consecutive time and 16th at home over that stretch.

SIXTH MAN PORTER

The Wizards began bringing Porter off the bench when he returned following a right knee injury to ease him back in. It has since become a habit, not because Porter is still building up but because coach Scott Brooks likes how his team is playing and doesn’t want to mess with success.

“Otto’s getting obviously starter minutes or about nearly as many minutes as he had as a starter,” Brooks said. “The thing I like about it is he’s getting more shots, and we need Otto to take more shots. Somehow, someway it’s happening where he’s getting 15, 17, 18 shots a game, and we need that.”

CASEY WANTS CHALLENGE

Two days after losing to Sacramento on a shot by Buddy Hield that the Pistons thought was a double-dribble, Casey said he’d be on board with a coach’s challenge system — if it can be done quickly without games dragging.

“Very difficult because of the time constraints you have within the game,” Casey said. “If you can fit it in within that two-hour (window) or whatever it is constraints that we have with television, I think it can be effective.”

SMITH IN STANDS

Injured Redskins quarterback Alex Smith took in the game from a suite wearing a substantial cast and brace on his right leg. Smith, who broke his tibia and fibula Nov. 18 against Houston, spent almost a month in the hospital after multiple surgeries, and his playing future is in doubt.

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