The Verizon Center crowd roared in exaltation as Trevor Ariza's 3-ball looked like it went in as time expired — except to the 12 players and coaching staff on the Pistons' side.

An air ball that everybody thought went in — and given the Pistons' luck in recent time, should've went in, didn't, and the Pistons (23-37) danced off the floor with a 96-95 win over the Wizards (18-38), bringing some momentary relief after a three-game losing streak. The Wizards were led by Ariza's 22 points and six rebounds, while rookie Bradley Beal scored 16.

Beal drove the lane for what could've been a layup before Rodney Stuckey stepped in his path and forced an errant pass to the wing that was tipped before landing in Ariza's hands, who had to force up a shot as the buzzer sounded.

Brandon Knight's career-high 32 points and four assists marked his return from a hyperextended right knee, as the Pistons weathered an early fourth-quarter storm from the Wizards, only to nearly give it away in the final minute.

Knight's night marked the seventh time in his career he's scored more than 25 and with the exception of one, the Pistons emerged with a win every time. He seemed to play at a faster pace than everyone else, and unlike Wall, who played too fast, to the tune of seven turnovers, Knight's play inspired his team.

"I think the biggest thing for us," said Knight before Charlie Villanueva walked by to say "welcome back, young fella" on Villanueva's way out of the locker room. "Is just playing with energy. Just sitting there for three games. It wasn't about making shots, it was about making sure we played Pistons basketball."

In what could be described as merely a blur, Knight caught an outlet pass and in one swoop evaded Wall sneaking in for a steal with a behind-the-back dribble, leading a fast break that resulted in a Kyle Singler dunk.

"Every time I come out, especially being a new piece relatively, making sure I played hard," said Knight, who said he wanted to play Monday against Atlanta before being held out again.



From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130228/SPORTS0102/302280352#ixzz2MCpURjc4