SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- The Detroit Pistons returned to the site of
their most painful defeat and handed the defending NBA champions
another lopsided loss.
Rasheed Wallace scored 27 points and had 10 rebounds to lead
Detroit to a 83-68 victory Thursday night over the Spurs in the
Pistons' first visit to San Antonio since losing Game 7 of the NBA
finals last June.
Detroit dominated from the start of Thursday's game between the
teams with the league's two best records. The Pistons, now 28-5,
used sharp shooting and stingy defense to build a 20-point lead in
the first half before the Spurs could get anything going.
"We knew it was going to be a fun one," said Detroit point
guard Chauncey Billups, who finished with 14 assists. "I
personally wanted to get Sheed aggressive. When our big men are
aggressive, we get buckets in the paint. We're just really
difficult to play."
The win gives Detroit a sweep of the season series between the
teams. The Pistons won at home 85-70 on Christmas Day in what had
been the Spurs' lowest-scoring game.
Detroit won in San Antonio for the first time since April 1997,
before Tim Duncan became a member of the Spurs.
Detroit outrebounded the Spurs 56-32 and had 25 assists. San
Antonio had only nine assists as a team, also a season low. Point
guard Tony Parker, averaging better than six assists per game, had
"I thought I penetrated pretty well -- we just missed a lot of
easy shots," Parker said. "It's just one of those nights where
offensively it didn't go our way."
San Antonio scored the first six points of the third quarter to
trim Detroit's advantage to 48-42, but the Pistons outscored the
Spurs 21-9 over the rest of the period to restore their lead to
"Everyone knows that when San Antonio and Detroit play, it's
going to be a battle on the defensive end," said Pistons forward
Tayshaun Prince. "The thing that we wanted to do is really
concentrate on rebounding the ball and not let them get
The Spurs pulled to within 10 points on a layup by Duncan with
5:46 remaining, but Richard Hamilton answered with a pair of
jumpers to quash the rally.
"We had opportunities," said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich.
"That team is good enough that you have to play a perfect game and
we didn't do that."
Hamilton scored 22 points and Prince added 13 points and 12
rebounds. Ben Wallace had 10 rebounds.
Duncan scored 17 points and had 13 rebounds for San Antonio,
while Parker had 17 points and Manu Ginobili 16.
Rasheed Wallace scored the first three baskets of the game and
Detroit's defense closed off the paint for the Spurs, who missed
all but one of their first seven shots.
A layup by Parker gave San Antonio a 9-8 lead, but Prince made
two layups and a jumper to ignite a 20-6 run by the Pistons to end
the first quarter.
On defense, Ben Wallace blocked a drive by Ginobili that led to
a transition jumper by Rasheed Wallace, and later Ben Wallace
blocked Duncan under the Spurs' basket.
The Spurs went 6-for-22 (27 percent) in the period, with Duncan
missing all five of his attempts, while the Pistons were 13-for-21
Detroit began the second with a 9-2 burst, capped by a 3-pointer
by Rasheed Wallace and Carlos Delfino's corner jumper, to make it
San Antonio finally established its inside game during a 14-4
run that cut their deficit to 41-32 with about three minutes left
in the half. Duncan had two layups and Nick Van Exel hit a
19-footer and a layup.
Ben Wallace then got a tip-in and Hamilton passed to Rasheed
Wallace for a dunk as Detroit got its lead back to 12 points at the
The win improves Detroit's road record to 14-3, while the
Spurs are now 17-2 at home. ... San Antonio matched its season low
by going 2-for-12 on 3-pointers. ... The Pistons had 16 offensive
rebounds, compared to four for the Spurs. In their two games this
season, Detroit had a 113-62 edge in rebounds... Thursday's game
was the first since the SBC Center became the AT&T Center. San
Antonio-based telecom giant SBC Communications changed its name to
AT&T Inc. late last year.