Pistons fall, but legends highlight final night at The Palace
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) — Bradley Beal scored 33 points and the Washington Wizards beat the Detroit Pistons 105-101 Monday night in the final game at the Palace of Auburn Hills.
Markieff Morris added 20 points for the Wizards, while Tobias Harris led the Pistons with 22.
The highlight of the night for Detroit fans was a halftime ceremony that honored the top players from the three championship teams, with Isiah Thomas and Dennis Rodman posing for pictures with Ben Wallace and Chauncey Billups.
Washington rested John Wall and Otto Porter Jr. in preparation for the postseason, but Scott Brooks brought his starters back to try to close out a tight game.
The Pistons tied the game early in the fourth quarter, but Stan Van Gundy decided not to match Brooks bringing back in his top players.
With Andre Drummond, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Marcus Morris on the bench, Beal beat Stanley Johnson for back-to-back layups to make it 94-88 with 4:09 left.
The Pistons got within one with 1:14 left, but Markieff Morris hit a jumper and Harris missed a tying 3-pointer. Beal then iced the game with a dunk in traffic and three free throws.
Detroit looked lackluster in the first half, especially compared to the constant video tributes to the championship teams from 1989, 1990 and 2004. Washington led by as many as 15 points and shot 51 percent for the half, while holding Detroit to 38 percent.
Van Gundy went to a 3-point-based offense in the third quarter, and it helped the Pistons narrow the gap to 79-73 going into the final 12 minutes. Two more threes, the second by Reggie Bullock, tied the game at 79 early in the fourth.
Washington: Beal had 18 points in the first half and was a plus-18, while Kelly Oubre, Jr. was a plus-16.
Detroit: The Pistons were 14-13 and ranked second in the league on defense before a 122-108 loss in Washington that started a five-game losing streak. Detroit never got back above .500.
With Little Caesars Arena opening in the fall, Detroit sports fans said goodbye to two historic buildings in two nights. Sunday marked the last game at Joe Louis Arena, where the Red Wings won four Stanley Cups, while Monday ended the Pistons' tenure at the Palace. The WNBA's Shock, now the Dallas Wings, won titles in both buildings.