The Pistons led by a dozen at halftime, saw their advantage cut to four in the final quarter and then pulled away as they opened their bid to return to the playoffs. Detroit managed only 29 wins last season, the same number posted by the Wizards.
Detroit shot 50 percent, made 26-of-33 free throws and survived 18 turnovers.
Washington got 28 points and 10 rebounds from Trevor Ariza.
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