WASHINGTON — No matter how well things are going for either team, the Detroit Pistons nearly always get the better of the Washington Wizards.
Brandon Knight returned from a right knee injury to score a career-high 32 points, Greg Monroe added 26 points and 11 rebounds on the court where he played college home games for Georgetown, Jose Calderon finished with 18 assists, and Detroit escaped with a 96-95 victory over Washington on Wednesday night.
The Pistons have won six games in a row over the Wizards, and 14 of their past 16 meetings. And Wednesday's result represented a reversal of fortunes for both clubs: Detroit had lost three straight games; Washington had won three straight.
The Wizards were without starting center Nene (sore right shoulder) and got a poor game from point guard John Wall, who had more turnovers (seven) than points (six) or assists (four).
Trevor Ariza led the Wizards with 22 points.
■ CLEVELAND — Kyrie Irving isn't the only Cavaliers guard with killer instinct on the court.
When the game's on the line, Dion Waiters wants the spotlight — and the ball.
"I live for that," the rookie said.
Waiters scored 23 points, his last two coming on a crucial jumper with 1:43 left, Shaun Livingston added 15, and Cleveland overcame a horrendous start to win its second straight game without an injured Irving, 103-92 over the Toronto Raptors.
The Cavs made only one of their first 15 shots, but recovered and finished February at 7-5, their first winning month since March 2010, when LeBron James was still around. Tristan Thompson scored 14, Wayne Ellington added 13, and Luke Walton had seven rebounds and seven assists for Cleveland, which closed with a 10-2 run.
Usually, Irving's the one the Cavs turn to in the closing minutes, when every dribble and every possession are important. With their all-star guard slowed or sidelined with a hyperextended right knee, the Cavs have turned to Waiters, who has 71 points in his past three games.
"As a kid, you see a lot of guys like Michael Jordan, Allen Iverson, who live for those moments," Waiters said. "You tell yourself you're going to be in that position one day. I'm just blessed to be in that position."
DeMar DeRozan scored 34 and Rudy Gay had 24 for the Raptors. Toronto climbed back from an 11-point deficit and pulled within three at 93-90 when Waiters calmly dropped a clutch 15-foot jumper. Thompson added eight rebounds.
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