Jose Calderon's hot outside shooting sent the Pistons into the All-Star break on a winning note, but a player from the end of the bench stole the show in their 96-85 victory over the Washington Wizards Wednesday night.
As hot as Calderon was during his 24-point performance, a few of the lasting memories came from reserve center Slava Kravtsov, whose two strong dunks were only outdone by his defense in the fourth quarter.
Calderon was 6 of 9 on 3-pointers, Will Bynum added 20 points on 8 of 12 shooting and eight assists, and the Pistons used two 11-0 runs in the fourth quarter to pull away from a Wizards team that had won four straight.
Pistons center Greg Monroe finished with 16 points, 18 rebounds and four assists to post his eighth straight double-double, the first Pistons player to do so since Grant Hill 1996.
Calderon's 24 points are his most since he joined the Pistons, and his three assists matched his low with Detroit.
Kravtsov had just four points and four rebounds, but his dunk on an alley-oop from Bynum capped the first 11-0 run and put the Pistons up 76-70 with 6:29 left in the fourth.
"Slava's great. He's been working hard every day," Bynum said. "I've been talking to him in Ukrainian language about the lob, trying to get him to be the new Andre Drummond while he's out."
Kravtsov also played a career-high 14 minutes, and his defense against the Wizards' big men helped seal the victory in the fourth quarter.
"I loved his confidence in there, his approach. He was really, really solid," Frank said of Kravtsov. "I felt good with him in the game and just his post defense, his ability to hold his ground."
The Wizards hit their first eight shots of the second half, forcing the Pistons to dig out of a hole in the fourth quarter.
Trailing 70-65 early in the final quarter, Bynum started a run with a layup, but the critical play came a few possessions later.
Charlie Villanueva took a pass from Bynum, hit a 3-pointer and drew a foul when Chris Singleton's hand smacked him in the face. Villanueva was on the floor briefly completed the 4-point play to give the Pistons a lead with 7:51 left, their first since the final minute of the second quarter.
From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130213/SPORTS0102/302130449#ixzz2KtI5wCk8
Pistons mount strong fourth-quarter rally, beat Wizards
Detroit News | Feb 14