Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 3)

Series starts 11/21

Game 1: Sunday, November 21st
Game 2: Tuesday, November 23rd
Game 3: Wednesday, April 20th

Pistons 89

(5-5, 1-4 away)

Bobcats 91

(2-8, 2-4 home)

7:00 PM ET, November 23, 2004

Charlotte Coliseum, Charlotte, NC

1 2 3 4 T
DET 22 13 19 3589
CHA 23 28 22 1891

Top Performers

Det: C. Billups 24 Pts, 7 Ast, 1 Stl

Cha: E. Okafor 22 Pts, 15 Reb, 1 Blk

Okafor shines for Cats; Sheed, Heard ejected

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Rasheed Wallace thinks he's the NBA's reigning bad boy since Indiana's Ron Artest was suspended for the season.

Wallace was thrown out of Detroit's 91-89 loss to the Charlotte Bobcats on Tuesday night for picking up two technicals.

The first was for throwing his headband into the stands in disgust after a fourth quarter turnover. The second technical was for arguing that he did nothing wrong.

"Now I know with Artest out, I know I'm back on that blacklist," Wallace said. "I've got that target on my back."

Wallace said the second technical came when he was arguing that throwing something into the stands is not a foul.

"I knew it wasn't the case for the simple fact that I did it a couple of times this year and Ben [Wallace] did it," he said. "That's crazy. I guess it's just a fallout from the other night. People think that sometimes it's me complaining, but it's not ... I got something for it, though. I'm going to have the last laugh in June."

The Pistons should make it into the playoffs, but will have a hard time repeating as NBA champions if they play the way they did against the Bobcats.

The Bobcats won for just the second time this season, and became the first expansion team to beat the reigning NBA champion since Portland and Buffalo defeated the New York Knicks during the 1970-71 season.

They did it behind Emeka Okafor, who had the best game of his young rookie season with 22 points and 15 rebounds.

"We made the statement before that we're not just an expansion team, but it means more if we win," Okafor said. "It just kind of shows that we're legit, and `expansion' is just a label."

The Pistons had all their players back from suspensions stemming from their brawl last Friday with the Pacers except for Ben Wallace, who sat out the second of six games.

But they never hit a rhythm, and trailed almost the entire game and by as many as 21.

Charlotte, which lost 117-116 in double overtime Sunday night in Detroit when the Pistons' had just eight players, jumped on them early but had to hold on for the win.

The Bobcats saw their lead whittled down to six before Okafor came up with three big defensive rebounds and a layup with 40 seconds to play to push the lead to 85-77.

Tayshaun Prince answered with a basket for Detroit, and after Brevin Knight hit a pair of free throws for Charlotte, Chauncey Billups made a 3 to cut Charlotte's lead to 87-82 with 22 seconds to go.

The Pistons had to foul, and Charlotte made four of six down the stretch to make Lindsey Hunter's 3-pointer at the buzzer meaningless.

"We're good, but we ain't the champs no more," said Billups, who was suspended for Sunday's game but came back to lead Detroit with 24 points. "That's over with. They kicked our butts."

Keith Bogans scored 18 points for Charlotte, Gerald Wallace had 17 points and Knight had 19 assists.

Richard Hamilton scored 14, and Prince and Antonio McDyess had 13 each.

The Bobcats didn't raise their usual level of security for the game, the first at the Charlotte Coliseum since the Pistons-Pacers melee Friday. Instead, they shuffled some of their uniformed police officers to place an increased presence behind both benches.

There was one light moment when, after a timeout, Okafor tossed a cup of water toward a garbage can. It missed, and slightly splashed along the scorer's table.

"Sorry! My bad!" he quickly apologized, with a smile.

And the only thing that went into the stands was Rasheed Wallace's headband. Gar Heard, filling in for Pistons coach Larry Brown, argued with the technical and was thrown out of the game moments before Wallace was.

"I might say something that costs me some money," Heard said in declining to speak to the media.

Game notes

The Bobcats are reconsidering an advertising campaign that mocks opposing players as part of the fallout from the Pacers-Pistons brawl, team president Ed Tapscott said. ... There was no crowd reaction when former Hornet Elden Campbell, now with the Pistons, checked into the game, but Derrick Coleman, reviled during his days in Charlotte, was booed every time he checked into the game. ... Knight had all seven of Charlotte's first quarter assists. ... At one point in the third quarter, with Detroit trailing by double digits, Rasheed Wallace yelled at the Bobcats bench "Put Smitty in so we can come back." He was referring to veteran Steve Smith, who didn't check into the game until there was 30 seconds left to play.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 89 91
FGM-FGA 34-67 (.507) 37-78 (.474)
3PM-3PA 3-8 (.375) 1-2 (.500)
FTM-FTA 18-25 (.720) 16-23 (.696)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 7-32 16-44
Assists 16 25
Turnovers 16 16
Steals 7 8
Blocks 9 2
Fast Break Points 5 4
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 23 (3/0) 22 (1/0)

Top Performers

Chauncey Billups Billups
Points: 24
Reb: 0
Ast: 7
Stl: 1
Blk: 0
Emeka Okafor Okafor
Points: 22
Reb: 15
Ast: 0
Stl: 0
Blk: 1