AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- After the month the Detroit Pistons have had, they will take a victory over any team.
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It was Detroit's first win over anyone other than Cleveland since late November.
"We can't worry about who is playing and who isn't playing on the other team," Monroe said. "We just have to go out there and do our job, and we finally did that tonight."
"That was an embarrassment, and I apologize to our ownership and to our fans," Washington coach Randy Wittman said. "I especially apologize to anyone who watched that entire game. I would have turned it off after the first five minutes."
Jordan Crawford led Washington with 20 points, but no one else scored more than 10 points.
"This was a situation where we had some key guys out, which meant our other guys had a chance to step up and prove that they belong in the NBA," Wittman said in a postgame news conference that only lasted one question. "That didn't happen. We may only have nine guys, but I need to find five of them who are willing to show me that they deserve to be here."
The Pistons, who never trailed, got 15 points from Brandon Knight and 11 points and a career-high 14 rebounds from Drummond. The Wizards passed on Drummond this summer in the draft, taking Bradley Beal instead.
"Why wouldn't I be aware of it? I worked out for them, and they were on the schedule," Drummond said of his first matchup with Washington. "It doesn't really matter, though. I'm with Detroit now, and I'm just trying to beat them."
The teams meet again Saturday night in the nation's capital, but the Wizards will have to play a much better game to have a shot at splitting the home-and-home series.
"It's not fun when these games happen, but they haven't happened too often with this team," Washington's Emeka Okafor said. "You try to fight against it, but the more you fight, the more you feel like you are in quicksand."
Detroit's biggest problem may have been a fourth-quarter injury to Rodney Stuckey, who went immediately to the locker room after getting hit in the mouth on a fourth-quarter drive. Stuckey didn't lose any teeth, but did not return to the game. He is expected to travel to Washington for Saturday's rematch.
"He got one tooth bent back, but you always want to embellish these stories and make them look good, so in five years, he'll have had a tooth knocked out," Pistons coach Lawrence Frank said. "I feel bad for him, because I'm a little squeamish when it comes to teeth."
With Stuckey unable to shoot his free throws, the Pistons chose Slava Kravtsov to take them. In his NBA debut, the Ukrainian rookie made 1 of 2. Kravtsov dunked in the final seconds for his first field goal.
"It was great to play in a game, but it isn't my goal to come in to shoot someone else's free throws," he said. "I wasn't very comfortable out there tonight, but I want to show that I'm capable of playing more minutes and helping our team."
The game got off to an ugly start, as the teams combined to miss 17 of their first 19 shots. Detroit finally got enough offense going to build a 9-2 lead midway through the first, and the game never got much better.
Washington shot 26 percent in the first quarter and 32 percent in the first half, and only Crawford's 14 points kept them from being behind by more than 53-34 at the intermission.
In contrast, Detroit had three scorers in double figures by halftime and had 13 assists on 19 field goals.
The Pistons didn't let up in the third quarter, moving the advantage to 26, and they were up by as many as 34 down the stretch.
- Crawford picked up a third-quarter technical for arguing a call, and had to be led away from referee Michael Smith by teammate Emeka Okafor. Later in the quarter, when Crawford didn't get a call on a drive to the basket, Wittman yelled "Don't hold a grudge, Mike. Give us a call."
- In an attempt to boost their struggling attendance, the Pistons will have halftime concerts from MC Hammer (Dec. 28) and Sheila E (Dec. 30) at their next two home games. After leading the league in attendance during much of the past decade, Detroit has trouble filling half the arena for most games.
- Cartier Martin was called for a flagrant foul for a hard screen on Drummond in the fourth.