WASHINGTON - Ben Gordon scored 29 points, Charlie Villanueva added 25, and the Detroit Pistons held Washington to one field goal over the final five minutes to win 106-103 last night despite Earl Boykins' 20 points for the Wizards.
Gordon scored eight of the final 10 points for Detroit, which has won three consecutive games.
The Wizards have lost six in a row. Mike Miller returned from a left shoulder injury to score 20 points for the hosts, while Gilbert Arenas had 19 points, 10 assists, and six rebounds. But Arenas' only field goal of the fourth quarter was a meaningless 3-pointer right before the final buzzer.
Reserve guard Will Bynum contributed 20 points, eight rebounds, and six assists for the Pistons, and Rodney Stuckey added 17 points and nine rebounds.
The 5-foot-5 Boykins was playing his first NBA game in more than 1 1/2 years, having signed with Washington on Wednesday because of a glut of injured guards. He shared the backcourt with Arenas for stretches - and it was the three-time all-star who deferred down the stretch.
Arenas' first shot attempt of the fourth quarter was a 19-foot jumper that he missed with 2:05 left in the game and the score 96-all. Gordon banked in a 9-footer to put Detroit ahead, and then Boykins - not Arenas - missed jumpers on each of Washington's next two possessions.
When Arenas took a 7-foot floater in the lane that clanged off the rim at the buzzer ending the first quarter, he was left with a line that read like this: zero points, 0-for-6 shooting (including an air ball), four assists.
Arenas, though, did what he does best, sinking a 3-pointer from about 30 feet right at the end of the half, hopping in place as the ball cut through the net.
Still, Detroit went into halftime ahead 55-47 thanks to a combined 44 points from Villanueva, Gordon and Stuckey.