Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 4)

Series starts 12/17

Game 1: Saturday, December 17th
Game 2: Saturday, January 14th
Game 3: Sunday, March 12th
Game 4: Saturday, March 18th

Bobcats 91

(11-26, 4-16 away)

Pistons 114

(29-5, 15-2 home)

Coverage: NE14

7:30 PM ET, January 14, 2006

The Palace of Auburn Hills, Detroit, MI

1 2 3 4 T
CHA 21 22 27 2191
DET 30 30 23 31114

Top Performers

Cha: G. Wallace 14 Pts, 8 Reb, 1 Ast, 3 Stl, 2 Blk

Det: B. Wallace 10 Pts, 13 Reb, 3 Ast, 2 Stl, 5 Blk

Balanced offense, stingy defense help Pistons beat Bobcats

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) -- The Detroit Pistons didn't get much of a scare from the short-handed Charlotte Bobcats on Saturday night.

They did, however, get one from Ben Wallace.

Late in the first quarter of a 114-91 victory, Wallace landed awkwardly while grabbing a rebound and stayed on the floor, holding his left knee. He eventually limped off under his own power, and to the relief of his coaches, teammates and the 102nd straight sellout crowd at the Palace, returned in the second period.

"It just locked up on me -- my leg got too far in front of me," Wallace said. "It's a small thing to a giant."

Even while Wallace was down, his teammates weren't overly concerned.

"When he doesn't get right up, you know he's hurting, but I just can't get too worried about that guy," Chauncey Billups said. "He's just a warrior."

Richard Hamilton led a balanced Pistons attack with 19 points. Seven Detroit players scored in double figures, and the often-inconsistent reserves chipped in 44 points.

"Most teams have a go-to guy," Charlotte coach Bernie Bickerstaff said. "Detroit has a go-to team."

Maurice Evans scored 18 points and Tayshaun Prince and Antonio McDyess each had 16 in Detroit's first game since an 83-68 win in San Antonio on Tuesday.

"This was a workmanlike performance coming off a big win," Detroit coach Flip Saunders said. "That's what you like to see."

The Bobcats dressed only 10 players, as Sean May (knee) and Jake Voskuhl (ankle) stayed home with injuries. Charlotte has lost three straight and seven of eight, while the Pistons (29-5) have won five of six.

"They aren't the team you want to play short-handed," Charlotte's Bernard Robinson said. "You have to play basically a perfect game against them when you are full strength, so you know they will take advantage of it when you aren't."

Primoz Brezec led the Bobcats with 18 points, while Gerald Wallace scored 14 and reserve Jumaine Jones added 12.

"It's not an embarrassment to lose to Detroit that way," Bickerstaff said. "They are a very good basketball team. But I told my guys that I would go in a foxhole with them any day. They never lay down, and I'm very proud of them."

The Pistons led 30-21 after one quarter, picking up 11 assists in the period, and expanded the margin to 60-43 at the half. Billups and Hamilton combined for 24 points and seven assists in the half, while Gerald Wallace had 11 points and six rebounds for the Bobcats.

The teams traded baskets for most of the third period, with Charlotte never able to get the margin back to single digits.

Detroit led 83-70 at quarter's end, and was never threatened in the fourth.

Game notes

Ben Wallace tried his third 3-pointer of the season in the last seconds of the third period. He shot from the baseline and hit the side of the backboard. ... Rasheed Wallace picked up a fourth-quarter technical for arguing a call. ... After going 2-1 against the Pistons in 2004-05, with the only loss in double-overtime, Charlotte has lost to Detroit by 25 and 23 points in two tries this season. ... Detroit had 35 assists, one short of a season best.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 91 114
FGM-FGA 37-75 (.493) 42-78 (.538)
3PM-3PA 2-7 (.286) 9-17 (.529)
FTM-FTA 15-23 (.652) 21-31 (.677)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 7-28 10-40
Assists 15 35
Turnovers 15 12
Steals 7 9
Blocks 2 9
Fast Break Points 10 12
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 25 (0/0) 19 (1/0)
Largest Lead 0 24

Top Performers

Gerald Wallace Wallace
Points: 14
Reb: 8
Ast: 1
Stl: 3
Blk: 2
Ben Wallace Wallace
Points: 10
Reb: 13
Ast: 3
Stl: 2
Blk: 5