7:00 PM ET, January 12, 2006
AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX
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 none.
"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 69-51.
"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 second-chance opportunities."
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 (62 percent).
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 37-17.
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 half.
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.
Team Stat Comparison
|FGM-FGA||37-84 (.440)||27-70 (.386)|
|3PM-3PA||5-13 (.385)||2-13 (.154)|
|FTM-FTA||4-7 (.571)||12-24 (.500)|
|Fast Break Points||7||8|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||17 (0/0)||16 (0/0)|