WASHINGTON – Rookie forward Rui Hachimura had 10 points in his first six minutes of play to energize the Washington Wizards from the get-go in a 115-99 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Monday night.
Bradley Beal led the way with 22 points as one of six Washington players who scored in double figures, climbing to fifth on the franchise’s all-time scoring list while helping the Wizards snap a three-game losing streak.
Troy Brown Jr. recorded his first double-double of the season with 14 points and 10 rebounds and Thomas Bryant also had 14 points. Hachimura, Moritz Wagner and C. J. Miles each chipped in 12 points in a team effort as Washington picked up its first home win of the season
Hachimura, who shot just 2-for-11 against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday in his worst game as a pro, also had four rebounds, three assists and a steal across 16 minutes.
“I wanted to win this game no matter what,” said the ex-Gonzaga University star.
“I was focused from the start. We’ve been having defensive issues. When we play good defense we’re going to have more offensive opportunities.”
Knowing he’s the on- and off-court leader of a revamped roster filled with youth and inexperience, Beal was pleased to see the way his team reacted to what he called “laying an egg.”
One game after its lackluster loss, Beal acknowledged that Washington “still (has) a lot of things we’ve got to work on, get better at.”
He added: “But it is definitely a good sign to see, after last game.”
Two nights earlier, Washington was beaten by 22 points at home by the Minnesota Timberwolves, who were missing the suspended Karl-Anthony Towns.
So what if Detroit was without Blake Griffin (left hamstring and knee), Derrick Rose (right hamstring) and Reggie Jackson (lower back)?
“It’s the NBA. There are no excuses,” Pistons coach Dwane Casey said. “We got enough guys in that room to compete, to fight.”
Wizards coach Scott Brooks, who doesn’t have All-Star point guard John Wall, was thrilled with the way his players responded to the criticism they heard during film study of the Timberwolves game.
“We were disappointed. We were. There’s no way around it. It was a bad night on both ends of the floor,” Brooks said.
“One thing I love about it: We came back. We took it on the chin. . . . We needed them to get better from it. Sometimes when you have a team that doesn’t have a lot of experience, a loss is a loss if you don’t learn anything from it.”
The Wizards improved to 2-4 thanks to Bryant’s aforementioned effort and nine points and six assists from Isaiah Thomas in his first start of the season.
Suns 114, 76ers 109
In Phoenix, Devin Booker scored a season-high 40 points and Ricky Rubio added 21 points and 10 assists as the Suns handed Philadelphia its first loss of the season.
Aron Baynes had 15 points and made three 3-pointers, Kelly Oubre Jr. scored 14 points, and Phoenix shot 53.2 percent from the field. The Suns won for the fifth time in seven games, their best start since beginning the 2013-14 season with the same record.
For Philadelphia (5-1), Al Horford had a season-high 32 points and tied a career high with five 3-pointers. Tobias Harris had 24 points and 10 rebounds and Furkan Korkmaz contributed a career-high 20 points for the Sixers, who had been the last undefeated team in the league.
Philadelphia played without leading scorer and rebounder Joel Embiid, who served the final game of a two-game suspension after an altercation with Towns last Wednesday. Kurkmaz started in his place.
Rockets 107, Grizzlies 100
In Memphis, James Harden scored 44 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead Houston past the hosts.
Harden was the foundation of a bounce-back effort for the Rockets, whose defense was torched for an average of 126 points in back-to-back losses at Brooklyn and Miami over the weekend. Houston, playing without Russell Westbrook (rest) for the first time this season, got 16 points from Eric Gordon and 15 points and nine rebounds from Danuel House Jr.
Rookie Ja Morant paced the Grizzlies with 23 points.
Warriors 127, Trail Blazers 118
In San Francisco, rookie Eric Paschall scored a season-best 34 points as Golden State surprised Portland and won for the first time at its new home arena, Chase Center.
The win capped a six-day, four-game homestand during which the Warriors had lost to Phoenix, San Antonio and Charlotte to fall to 0-4 at home before finally getting the win Monday. Portland took just its second loss in five road games.
Bucks 134, Timberwolves 106
In Minneapolis, Giannis Antetokounmpo recorded 34 points and 15 rebounds as Milwaukee rode a third-quarter surge and overcame a bizarre delay to the game (uneven rim) and roll past the Timberwolves.
Nets 135, Pelicans 125
In New York, Kyrie Irving totaled 39 points and nine assists while leading six players in double figures as the Nets nearly blew all of a 20-point lead but recovered to knock off New Orleans.
IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5