Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Wizards 107, Pistons 94
Butler leads Wizards over slumping Pistons
Washington SF scores 33; Dixon adds 16 points, seven assists
By Joseph White The Associated Press
10:04 PM EST, December 9, 2008

Washington's Caron Butler (left) defends Detroit's Allen Iverson during the second quarter. Butler led the Wizards with 33 points. (AP photo / December 9, 2008)
WASHINGTON - Caron Butler scored his expected 33 points, Juan Dixon added an unexpected 16, Darius Songaila got a surprising 15, and the Washington Wizards overcame a miserable start to rally for a 107-94 victory Tuesday night over the redesigned lineup of the Detroit Pistons.After a lifeless 1½ quarters in which the Wizards dug themselves a 17-point hole, they suddenly came to life to outscore the Pistons by 28 over the final 29 minutes.Songaila, Dixon (season-high points, seven assists), Dominic McGuire (3-for-3, six points), Andray Blatche (eight points, five rebounds), and Nick Young (nine points) all provided inspired play off the bench, and all the Washington starters not named Butler combined to score only 15 points.The Wizards improved to 3-5 under interim coach Ed Tapscott, while the Pistons have lost four of five and dropped to 7-9 since the trade for Allen Iverson. Iverson started at shooting guard Tuesday night but he wasn't much of a factor, scoring 13 points.
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Richard Hamilton scored a season-high 29 points, Rasheed Wallace added 19, and new starting point guard Rodney Stuckey had 10 points and 11 assists for the Pistons.Detroit debuted a new lineup featuring Stuckey at the point, with Iverson moved to No. 2 guard, Hamilton moved to small forward, Tayshaun Prince moved to power forward and Wallace moved to center. Center Kwame Brown was demoted to the bench and didn't even play.The moves were designed to jump-start a Pistons attack that had fallen to 22nd in the NBA in scoring. They appeared to pay immediate dividends, with Detroit racing to leads of 9-0 and 27-12. Wallace scored nine of the Pistons' first 11 points, followed by 14 of 16 from Hamilton, and the arena became as dormant as the Wizards' defense.Washington trailed by 36-19 in the second quarter, but Butler and Songaila led a 15-3 run that cut the deficit to 46-43 at the half. Tapscott rewarded subs Songaila and Dixon by starting them in the second half in place of JaVale McGee and Dee Brown.Songaila scored six straight Wizards points during one stretch in the third quarter, and Dixon began an 11-0 run with a jumper. Blatche's putback dunk gave Washington its first lead of the game, and a 6-0 spurt at the end of the period put the Wizards ahead 74-68 headed into the fourth.The Wizards have blown plenty of leads during their 4-15 start, but they didn't let the Pistons come closer than four points in the fourth quarter. Hamilton cut the lead to 92-88 with a jumper with 2:37 to play, but Songaila responded with a layup and the Wizards held on from there.Notes: Pistons F/C Antonio McDyess, who was re-signed by Detroit earlier in the day, played 25 minutes and scored nine points. He was traded to Denver in Iverson- Chauncey Billups trade and released by the Nuggets. "You could notice the difference without him. That was a big part of losing him in that trade," Pistons coach Michael Curry said. "The things he brought to the table were sorely missed." ... Hamilton and Wallace were both called for technicals for fussing at the officials. ... The game was played with just two referees after Phil Robinson became sick.

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