Herrmann, always a fan favorite with his Fabio-like long, blond hair, had the Palace crowd chanting "Wal-ter Herr-mann!" as he scored 16 points off the bench to help the Pistons improve to 2-0 with a 117-109 victory over the Washington Wizards.
"It was unbelievable," said Herrmann, who had never scored more than 11 points since joining Detroit last season. "I had a lot of confidence tonight."
Herrmann wasn't expected to be a regular in first-year coach Michael Curry's rotation, but has gotten extended minutes when Indiana and Washington both used small lineups against Detroit. He had 10 points against the Pacers on Wednesday.
"Walter was great tonight, and it is a lot more than just the shots he is making," Curry said. "His defense and his ability to move the ball are both things that help our team when he's on the floor. He does the basic things that we have to do to win."
Herrmann played 23 minutes against the Wizards, his longest outing since he got 33 minutes for the Bobcats on Nov. 22, 2007.
"When we go against a small team, I can play both the 3 and the 4, so it lets us change things," Herrmann said. "We play a very open game when they go small against us."
Richard Hamilton and Rasheed Wallace, both former Wizards, were the only Detroit starters to play well -- combining for 41 points and 18 rebounds -- but Herrmann and his fellow reserves helped out with 55 points.
"I thought our defense was very good at times, but Walter Herrmann made shots, and that was the difference," Washington coach Eddie Jordan said. "He made big shot after big shot after big shot, and we couldn't overcome it."
"It was a big improvement from game one, and that's what we are looking for -- improvement," Jordan said. "I know we lost the game, but there were a lot of positive signs -- for us to score 109 points against a very good defensive team means we are making strides."
The Pistons led 47-30 midway through the second quarter, but Juan Dixon had seven points in a 22-4 run that gave the Wizards a one-point lead at the break.
"I just wanted to be aggressive when I got on the floor," Dixon said. "We came up short, but it was a good effort -- we're headed in the right direction."
Detroit committed 15 turnovers in the half, just three short of its highest total for an entire game last season.
"I think half those turnovers came in the last six minutes of the second quarter," Curry said. "They played aggressive defense, but no one can play aggressive enough to make us turn the ball over six or seven times in a six-minute span. That's just us making mistakes."
Detroit regained the lead at the start of the third quarter, and increased the margin to 77-70 on Herrmann's three-point play late in the quarter.
Rodney Stuckey's driving layup in the final second put the Pistons up 81-76, but Jamison started the fourth with a three-point play.
The Wizards, though, couldn't get closer than two, and five straight points by Stuckey gave Detroit a 96-88 lead with 6:57 to go.
DeShawn Stevenson was called for a flagrant foul for taking Arron Afflalo down by the neck on a second-quarter drive. ... Kwame Brown, picked No. 1 overall by Washington in 2001, had eight points in eight minutes for the Pistons. "Kwame was great, and I wish he would have gotten 15-20 minutes," Curry said. "They just went so small that we couldn't get him on the floor." ... Dixon, who finished last season with the Pistons, scored nine for Washington.