AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) -- Ben Wallace downplayed his latest
feat until he was handed a piece of paper showing the small group
Wallace became the fifth player in NBA history to have 100
blocks and 100 steals in five straight seasons and six Detroit
Pistons scored in double figures in a 103-94 victory over the
Orlando Magic on Wednesday night.
He joined Hakeem Olajuwon, Julius Erving, Sam Lacey and David
Robinson as the only players to have 100 blocks and 100 steals in
five consecutive seasons, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
"That's a nice list to be a part of," said Wallace, who
finished with nine points, 13 rebounds, two steals and no blocks.
"It's good to have my name even mentioned with those guys."
The Pistons have won eight in a row, matching a season high.
Rookie Jameer Nelson scored a season-high 30 points for the
Magic, who have lost five straight and 16 of 20 -- but still have a
slim chance of making the playoffs.
Orlando will be in the postseason if it closes the regular
season with four wins and Philadelphia loses its last five and New
Jersey beats the 76ers and loses its three other games. Or, the
Magic can back into the playoffs if they finish in a three-way tie
with the Nets and Philadelphia.
"We're not even thinking about the playoffs right now," Nelson
said. "We've got to find a way to just win another game
Pistons coach Larry Brown said Wallace's accomplishment was
"He does everything you would want a player to do," said
Brown, who also coached Lacey and Robinson. "Sometimes he doesn't
get recognized. When this happens and you see the group he's
associated with, you have to say 'Wow."
The Pistons played their first game after clinching the Central
Division and the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Detroit built a double-digit lead late in the first quarter and
had little trouble maintaining it.
Magic starting guard DeShawn Stevenson and reserve forward Pat
Garrity missed the game to attend the birth of children. Kelvin
Cato didn't play because of a sore back.
Orlando's Steve Francis scored six points -- 15 below his average
-- on 3-of-13 shooting.
"They had four people waiting for me every time I got the ball.
That forced me into some bad shots," Francis said. "It's tough
going up against the champs with this many guys out, but I thought
we hung in there."
Brown said the Pistons were going to take their final five games
seriously, though they can't change their playoff positioning, and
they got off to a good start.
Detroit had a 31-17 lead in the first quarter after shooting
73.7 percent and holding Orlando to 36.4 percent.
"We had a great first quarter with 13 assists on 14 field
goals," Brown said.
The Pistons led 56-38 at halftime.
Howard scored 12 points in the third quarter to help the Magic
pull within 12, but they trailed 78-62 by the end of the quarter.
Brown also said he wasn't going to adjust his rotation, but he
Starters were on the bench late in the third quarter and
throughout the fourth, while seldom-used reserves such as Elden
Campbell, Carlos Delfino and even Darko Milicic played much more
than usual. All 12 Pistons scored.
"I've gone into the playoffs with and without minutes, but the
more I get the better off I'll be," Campbell said.
Nelson was 10-of-18 from the field, including 5-of-8 beyond
the 3-point line. His previous season high was 22 points. ...
Detroit's previous eight-game winning streak was from Feb. 10-March
1. ... Orlando's Grant Hill, out for the season with a shin injury,
has played at The Palace only once (Jan. 14) since leaving the
Pistons in 2000. ... The Pistons won the season series 3-1. ... The
Magic are 7-19 since the All-Star break.