Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 2)

Series starts 1/25

Game 1: Saturday, January 25th
Game 2: Sunday, April 6th

Spurs 89


Pistons 83

(47-29, 28-11 home)

    Coverage: KRRT

    6:00 PM ET, April 6, 2003

    The Palace of Auburn Hills, Detroit, MI

    1 2 3 4 T
    SA 27 20 21 2189
    DET 19 22 12 3083

    Top Performers

    SA: T. Duncan 25 Pts, 21 Reb, 3 Blk

    Det: M. Okur 12 Pts, 8 Reb, 4 Ast, 3 Blk

    Spurs win ninth straight against short-handed Pistons

    AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) -- Tim Duncan felt good for San Antonio and bad for Detroit after the Spurs won their ninth straight and the Pistons lost Ben Wallace.

    Ben Wallace

    Duncan had 25 points and 21 rebounds as San Antonio extended the league's longest current winning streak by defeating the shorthanded Pistons 89-83 Sunday.

    Wallace went down with a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee when teammate Tayshaun Prince fell into him late in the first half. The All-Star, who leads the league in rebounds and blocks, will undergo an MRI exam Monday to help determine if he'll play again this season.

    "It's unfortunate,'' Pistons coach Rick Carlisle said. "It looks like we will lose him for some number of games, we're just not sure how many. That's a blow.''

    Duncan was sidelined for the final four games of the 1999-2000 season -- and the playoffs -- with a knee injury.

    "I did mine a different way, but you still cringe whenever you see somebody go down, especially when you saw his knee buckle,'' Duncan said. "You just have to kind of hope for the best.''

    If the news on Wallace's status is not good, it will crushing to Detroit.

    The Pistons lost their third in a row and dropped a half-game behind New Jersey for the best record in the Eastern Conference after owning the top spot since March 8. They lead Indiana by 1½ games in the Central Division.

    Pistons coach Rick Carlisle said the team expects to activate Zeljko Rebraca on Monday. The center has been on the injured list since Jan. 6 because of an irregular heartbeat.

    Carlisle said the results of Wallace's MRI will determine if he goes on the injured list.

    Detroit also was without point guard Chauncey Billups, its second-leading scorer. Billups sat out due to a sprained ankle and said his status is day-to-day.

    The victory pulled the Spurs within a half-game of Dallas for the best record in the Western Conference.

    The Spurs' 38-7 record in 2003 is the best in the league, and they have won 17 of their last 18 road games.

    But if San Antonio doesn't overtake the Mavericks in the Midwest Division, it could face the three-time defending champion Los Angeles Lakers in the first round. The Lakers eliminated San Antonio from the playoffs the past two seasons.

    Duncan said "we're not one of them,'' when asked about teams motivated to avoid the Lakers in the first round.

    "It doesn't really matter who we face,'' Duncan bristled. "We're trying to get that No. 1 spot. If that works out, that's great. If it doesn't and we play the Lakers in the first round, we'll play them in the first round.

    "We're not afraid to play them.''

    The Pistons had not lost consecutive games at home until losing to Toronto and Indiana this week. They now have lost three straight at The Palace after falling to San Antonio for the sixth consecutive time.

    Detroit reserves Corliss Williamson and Jon Barry scored 15 each. Richard Hamilton scored 13.

    With 1:07 left in the first half, Wallace was standing under the basket when Prince fell backward into him after defending Tony Parker on a layup. Wallace buried his face in his hands after going down.

    He finished with 10 rebounds and two blocks.

    Wallace said, "I don't know,'' when asked how serious he thought the injury was as he limped away from the arena without crutches.

    The Spurs opened a 15-point cushion with a 11-2 run to start the second half. San Antonio led 68-53 after three quarters.

    Detroit cut its deficit to five with 5:08 left, but couldn't get closer until Williamson made a layup with 32.2 seconds left to make it 87-83. Parker answered with a basket on the ensuing possession.

    With Billups out and Chucky Atkins sidelined for a ninth straight game with a bruised left knee, the Pistons started seldom-used reserve Hubert Davis at point guard and were forced to play Hamilton and Prince at the point.

    Duncan had a 20-point, 20-rebound game for a career-high sixth time this season. He had five such games during the 2000-01 season.

    Parker scored 19, Speedy Claxton had 16 and Malik Rose added 14 points and 11 rebounds for the Spurs. David Robinson missed the game with a sore right knee.

    Game notes

    San Antonio center Kevin Willis was ejected with 9:28 left in the game. He was called for a flagrant foul after colliding with Detroit's Danny Manning in the lane after Duncan made a shot, then was ejected for arguing about the call. ... Before the game, the Pistons honored Robinson, who is retiring after the season. Robinson scored the first point at The Palace in 1988. ... The Spurs play at Dallas on April 16 in their regular season finale.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 89 83
    FGM-FGA 38-81 (.469) 30-77 (.390)
    3PM-3PA 2-7 (.286) 5-17 (.294)
    FTM-FTA 11-19 (.579) 18-21 (.857)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 11-43 13-40
    Assists 13 19
    Turnovers 9 10
    Steals 6 3
    Blocks 5 10
    Fast Break Points 4 3
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 19 (2/1) 17 (0/0)

    Top Performers

    San Antonio
    Tim Duncan Duncan
    Points: 25
    Reb: 21
    Ast: 0
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 3
    Mehmet Okur Okur
    Points: 12
    Reb: 8
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 3