DALLAS (AP) -- Rasheed Wallace was feeling good. So good that he
took 3-pointers on three of four possessions -- and made them all.
Wallace was having fun, too.
After nailing his second 3 in that stretch, he jabbed his index
finger and screamed "Pow!" When the next one banked in, he
hollered, "I called that!"
"I was just getting open looks," said Wallace, who scored 10
points in the first quarter, then hit his trio of 3s in the third.
"It was good ball movement, swinging the ball to the open man.
That's all it was."
Well, it was a couple of other things, too.
First, he was fired up by going against Dirk Nowitzki.
"A lot of people talk about the great power forwards in the
league. I want to let them know I'm still around," Wallace said.
And there was the memory of a 37-point loss in Dallas early last
season. The Pistons trailed 40-16 after the first quarter of that
one and never recovered.
"We had in mind what they did to us in the first quarter here
last year and we weren't going to let that happen again," Wallace
Wallace helped Detroit lead 29-20 after one quarter. The Pistons
got the first basket of the second quarter, too, and remained ahead
by double-digits for all but two memorable stretches.
Dallas got within seven before Wallace's barrage of 3s, then the
Mavericks had another rally that cut an 18-point Detroit lead to
88-82 with 1:17 left.
After Wallace missed a pair of free throws with 54 seconds left,
Nowitzki -- who scored 29 points -- took a 3-pointer that could've
gotten the Mavs within three. It hit the rim and bounced all the
way up to the shot clock. So did Dallas' next shot.
The Mavericks didn't score again, ending a 21-game home winning
streak over Eastern Conference teams that began on March 7, 2005.
They also lost for the second time in three games since a 12-game
winning streak. Their loss Monday night in Washington was a blowout
for most of the game, too.
"Everything we threw at them, they were able to counter and
still score baskets," said Josh Howard, who scored 12 points but
was scoreless in the second half. "We had a meltdown in D.C. and
we did it again tonight."
Tayshaun Prince led Detroit with 20 points, Richard Hamilton
scored 15 and Chauncey Billups had 12 points and 11 assists. Most
importantly, the Pistons looked far more like a team that recently
won eight straight than a club that had lost its last two.
"Everybody was locked into what we were doing," coach Flip
Saunders said. "What we can take from this is we played playoff
basketball in a regular-season game. We played our tempo, played
good defense, hit the offensive boards and kept the turnovers
Jason Terry scored 17 points for Dallas and Dampier scored 12.
No one else did much, with starter Devin Harris going 0-for-6 for 1
point in 28 minutes and Jerry Stackhouse going 0-for-4 and failing
to score in 18 minutes.
At least Stackhouse had an excuse: He was trying to play through
a groin injury sustained the previous game. He said he'll likely
miss the next game, Saturday against Denver.
"We had no energy tonight," Mavs coach Avery Johnson said.
"Our body language was not good."
Filling the front row around the court were about 120 military
personnel, part of the third annual "Seats For Soldiers" event.
Season-ticket holders donated their seats to the soldiers, most of
them flown in from Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio.
Others came from a National Guard unit based in Fort Worth.
Many of the vets from Brooke are recovering from injuries
suffered in Iraq or Afghanistan. They all received a standing
ovation between the first two quarters, their names scrolled on the
overhead monitor while the song, "Proud To Be An American"
Stackhouse last played 18 or more minutes without scoring
on May 2, 1999, while playing for Detroit. It's happened only one
other time in his 737-game career. ... Rookie Pops Mensah-Bonsu was
the first player the Mavs sent to the Developmental League. ...
Detroit G Lindsey Hunter has a sprained left ankle and isn't on the
trip. Rookie Will Blalock was active in Hunter's place. ... Among
the inspiration solider stories was a woman walking with the aid of
a cane. She was part of the inaugural seats event in 2004 while in
a wheelchair, facing a prognosis of never being able to walk again.