DETROIT — Daniel Gafford converted a putback of Bradley Beal’s airball at the buzzer, and the Washington Wizards handed the Detroit Pistons their ninth straight loss, 119-117 on Tuesday night.
With the score tied, Beal drove to the baseline and shot a fadeaway floater that was too strong and missed everything. Gafford grabbed the weak-side rebound and banked in the game-winner.
Beal finished with 32 points and Kristaps Porzingis scored 24 before fouling out in the final minute. Washington (32-34) ended a two-game skid and is 10th in the Eastern Conference, in position for the final spot in the play-in tournament.
Jaden Ivey had 26 points and 12 assists for the NBA-worst Pistons. James Wiseman added 21 points.
Ivey was the only active Pistons player who played in the team’s season-opening win over the Orlando Magic. The other nine have either been traded or are injured.
Washington scored 14 points in the first 3:06 of the fourth quarter – giving them 50 in the second half – to take a 103-95 lead, but Ivey’s 3-pointer put Detroit up 110-109 with 3:18 left.
Ivey drew Porzingis’ sixth foul with 50.7 seconds to play, then hit both free throws to give Detroit a 117-115 lead, but Beal tied it with a layup.
Isaiah Livers turned the ball over with 23 seconds left, setting up the winning play.
The Pistons shot 54.8% in the first half, with Wiseman going 6 of 6, to take a 58-53 lead.
Washington hit 12 of its first 17 second-half shots, including four 3-pointers, to move ahead 83-76.
The Wizards scored 36 points in the third quarter, including 10 by Beal, but R.J. Hampton’s buzzer-beating 3-pointer pulled Detroit within 89-88.
Wizards: Have won seven straight against Detroit and have won eight of the last nine season series. … Kyle Kuzma scored 23 points and Corey Kispert had 16, making 4 of 5 3-point attempts.
Pistons: Haven’t won a game in regulation since beating the Charlotte Hornets 118-112 on Feb. 3.
Wizards: Host Atlanta on Wednesday and again on Friday.
Pistons: Host Charlotte on Thursday.
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