TOLEDO, Ohio | Rodney Stuckey scored 34 points — the most by any player this NBA preseason for about an hour — and Charlie Villanueva added 19 to lead the Detroit Pistons to a 98-92 victory over the Washington Wizards on Tuesday night.
LeBron James scored 33 points Monday night in Miami’s 102-96 loss to Charlotte, but Amare Stoudemire finished with 39 for the New York Knicks on Tuesday night in a 117-111 victory over New Jersey.
The Pistons (3-4) led for the majority of the second half and built their biggest lead at 10 points on two free throws by Villanueva with 4:50 remaining.
The Wizards (3-4) got within 96-92 with one minute remaining, but no closer.
“It’s the last go-round before we start,” said Stuckey, who scored 23 points in the first half. “We’re just trying to get everything in place.”
Washington had a chance to cut the lead to two, but the Wizards turned the ball over on a traveling call. DaJuan Summers clinched the victory with two free throws with 7.2 seconds left.
Wizards coach Flip Saunders said Tuesday’s preseason finale produced mix results.
“We’ve got to get more consistent with sharing the ball and more consistent playing together sometimes,” said Saunders, whose team had 20 turnovers. “When you have a lot of young guys on the floor, they’re all trying to establish themselves and so we’ve got to work on that trust factor over the next eight days.”
Andray Blatche and Kirk Hinrich led Washington with 17 points each, while rookie John Wall finished with 13 as did guard Nick Young. Rookie Trevor Booker continued to make a push for a spot on Washington’s roster, grabbing 12 rebounds in 18 minutes.
Stuckey, however, made the biggest impact, hitting six of his first seven shots from the field. After averaging 12.8 points in the preseason when he had started four of the Pistons’ first six games, Stuckey said he’s fine with whatever role coach John Kuester has for him.
“It is what it is. If I have to come off the bench, I’ll come off the bench,” he said. “I ain’t tripping. Whatever it takes to make this team win.”
On Tuesday, he played a major part in that, finishing 13 of 18 from the field with seven assists.
“He set a tremendous tone for us,” Villaneuva said. “He was being aggressive, he was pushing up the basketball, finding his teammates. That’s how we need him to play the whole season.”
Pistons guard Ben Gordon was ejected in the fourth quarter after being assessed two technical fouls.
Copyright © 2022 The Washington Times, LLC.