The Detroit Pistons got a career-high 32 points from Brandon Knight and an impressive 18 dimes from Jose Calderon, but somehow had to dodge a major bullet to knock off the Washington Wizards.
With 30 seconds remaining, Trevor Ariza hit a three from the right wing, cutting Detroit's lead from six to three. On the ensuing possession, Ariza stole the ball and was off to the races when Will Bynum fouled him.
It wasn't a terrible play, except that there was nobody between Ariza and the bucket as he started to streak the other way. That, ladies and gentlemen, is what's known as a "clear path foul." Ariza would get (and make) two foul shots and the Wizards would keep the ball.
Washington's final possession was an exercise in poor clock management. Despite trailing, the Wizards waited until the last second to shoot. Most elementary school coaches instruct their teams to take a shot as soon as possible in those situations, so a possible miss can either be rebounded or an opponent can be fouled.
Instead, the ball found Ariza in the corner with virtually no time left. He rose and fired.
It looked like Ariza finished the poorly executed play by burying a corner three at the buzzer. But in fact, the shot was an air ball that hit the net as it whistled under the rim.
In the end, the Pistons had withstood a furious comeback that saw the Wizards outscore them 27-14 in the fourth quarter.
It would have been a massive comeback win for the Wizards, but a truly atrocious game by John Wall (six points, four assists and seven turnovers) created just too big of a hole.