NBA: Washington Wizards spoil Detroit Pistons' farewell to Palace

Bradley Beal No.3 of the Washington Wizards reacting while playing the Detroit Pistons at the final NBA game at the Palace of Auburn Hills, on April 10, 2017.
Bradley Beal No.3 of the Washington Wizards reacting while playing the Detroit Pistons at the final NBA game at the Palace of Auburn Hills, on April 10, 2017.PHOTO: AFP

Los Angeles (AFP) - Bradley Beal and Markieff Morris made sure the Detroit Pistons' Palace at Auburn Hills era wouldn't end with a victory for the home team on Monday.

Beal and Morris scored the Wizards' last 15 points in a 105-101 victory in the Pistons' final game at the Palace, their home in the Detroit suburbs since 1988.

Washington coach Scott Brooks put the pair in the game with less than five minutes remaining, when the visitors were leading by two.

"Coach wanted to ruin their going-away party, so he threw me back out there and I just closed it out," said Beal, who poured in 33 points. "Credit to my team-mates. We all did a terrific job throughout the game. We had some letups in the third and fourth quarter, but we did a good job of executing down the stretch."

The Pistons will be moving to the new downtown Little Caesars Arena next season, where the NHL's Detroit Red Wings will also play.

Champions from all three NBA title teams that the Palace produced were on hand on Monday to say goodbye, receiving standing ovations from the crowd during a half-time ceremony.

The 29 years of the Palace saw the Pistons "Bad Boys" of Isiah Thomas crowned champions in 1989 and 1990, with Detroit also capturing the title in 2004.

The Palace was also the site of one of professional sports' most infamous brawls, the "Malice at the Palace" on November 19, 2004, when Ron Artest of the Indiana Pacers left the court to go after a fan in the stands, and team-mates battled fans on the court.

The unprecedented incident saw nine players suspended for a total of 146 games.

On Monday, the Wizards had the Pistons on the defensive early, taking a 15-point lead in the first half.

Detroit battled back to tie the game at 81-81 with 8:33 to play.

They were just one point down with 1:24 to play but Morris scored on a turnaround jump shot and Beal's dunk and free throw rebuilt the Wizards' lead.

"If you look at the thing, the whole game was the first quarter," Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy said. "After that, we played really well. But the first quarter - we've had that a lot this year - people just come out and jump on us early."