Final

Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 2)

Series starts 2/25

Game 1: Monday, February 25th
Pistons98Final
Nuggets93
Game 2: Tuesday, March 18th
Nuggets120Final
Pistons136

Nuggets 120

(40-27, 12-20 away)

Pistons 136

(49-18, 27-6 home)

Coverage: FSDT

7:30 PM ET, March 18, 2008

The Palace of Auburn Hills, Detroit, MI

1 2 3 4 T
DEN 25 26 38 31120
DET 34 39 27 36136

Top Performers

Denver: C. Anthony 27 Pts, 2 Reb, 5 Ast, 3 Stl

Detroit: R. Wallace 21 Pts, 5 Reb, 6 Ast, 1 Stl

Nuggets involved in another high-scoring affair, fall to Pistons

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) -- George Karl loves watching his players put up big offensive numbers.

He just wishes they would play a little more defense.

One game after scoring 168 points in a rout of Seattle, Karl's Denver Nuggets added 120 more against the defensive-minded Detroit Pistons.

The problem? They gave up 136.

Only Half Good

A shockingly good first half on Sunday created a Denver masterpiece, but Tuesday's first stanza led to a bomb.

Sun vs.
Sonics
Tues. vs.
Pistons
Points 84 51
Halftime margin plus-26 minus-22
FG pct 57.4 48.8
Iverson-Anthony points 33 8
Final result Win, 168-116 Loss, 136-120

"We have a defensive personality that is a little scary right now -- we're giving up a lot of points to everyone," Karl said. "If you had told me we'd shoot 60 percent and score 120 against the Detroit Pistons, I would have been happy, but we need to find some pride on defense."

The 136 points were the most the Pistons had scored in regulation since a 140-109 victory over Orlando in 1990.

"It was impressive to be able to score that many points," Chauncey Billups said. "That's their style of play -- they just want to outscore you."

The Pistons have shown great versatility in the last week, beating San Antonio 84-80 in a defensive struggle, then shooting a combined 63 percent on 3-pointers in wins over New Orleans and Denver.

"That's the thing -- we don't have to play one style," said Pistons coach Flip Saunders. "We went out and played San Antonio in a grind-it-out game, and this was a little different. We're not afraid to get out and run. We had 42 assists tonight. That's a lot of assists."

The Pistons scored a season-high 73 points in the first half, getting at least four points from 10 different players, and led by 22.

"We just didn't play well at all in the first half," Allen Iverson said. "When you are playing a team like that, you can't dig yourselves a hole."

Denver narrowed the gap to 83-73 midway through the third, but couldn't get an extended string of stops, and the Pistons still had a 100-89 advantage at quarter's end.

"We have to start helping each other on defense," Iverson said. "That's not happening right now."

Rasheed Wallace then put the game away with eight points in the first two minutes of the fourth, giving the Pistons a 110-93 lead.

"Sheed was just leaning back and firing," Karl said. "The Pistons would have beaten any team in the NBA tonight."

Richard Hamilton led the Pistons with 24 points and Wallace scored 21. Billups added 14 points and 10 assists for Detroit, which had seven players in double figures.

"That was fun," Hamilton said. "We knew it was going to be a high-tempo game, but we came out ready to play and we made plays for each other."

Carmelo Anthony led all scorers with 27 points, while Iverson had 20 points and 11 assists. Denver also had seven players in double figures.

The Nuggets started quickly, leading 14-9 after five minutes, but it didn't take Detroit long to take advantage of Denver's porous defense.

The Pistons shot 63 percent on their way to a 34-point first quarter, then went 5-of-7 on 3-pointers in a 39-point second quarter. Detroit also outrebounded the Nuggets 24-12 in the first half.

Game notes


Hamilton started the game wearing a jersey that had his last name spelled "Hamiltion," but changed it during the first quarter. ... Detroit Lions Hall of Famer Barry Sanders attended the game. ... Iverson will make his return to Philadelphia on Wednesday. ... The Pistons and Nuggets played the highest-scoring game in NBA history, a 186-184 Pistons victory in triple overtime on Dec. 13, 1983. ... Linas Kleiza was thrown out of the game in the final minute for arguing a call.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
DEN
DET
Points 120 136
FGM-FGA 43-76 (.566) 55-91 (.604)
3PM-3PA 10-20 (.500) 12-20 (.600)
FTM-FTA 24-32 (.750) 14-18 (.778)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 11-15 8-22
Assists 31 42
Turnovers 13 18
Steals 12 6
Blocks 3 2
Fast Break Points 11 18
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 19 (1/0) 22 (0/0)
Largest Lead 6 24

Top Performers

Denver
Detroit
Carmelo Anthony Anthony
Points: 27
Reb: 2
Ast: 5
Stl: 3
Blk: 0
Rasheed Wallace Wallace
Points: 21
Reb: 5
Ast: 6
Stl: 1
Blk: 0