Bucks stun Pistons in season opener; Wallace ejected

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) -- The Palace's "No Fly Zone" has been lifted.

Taking advantage of Ben Wallace's departure, Michael Redd scored 37 points and the Milwaukee Bucks attacked the Detroit Pistons for a slew of easy baskets in a 105-97 win Wednesday night.

Richard Hamilton and Chauncey Billups each scored 25 points and Tayshaun Prince added 16 for the Pistons, who lost All-Star forward Rasheed Wallace to an ejection midway through the third quarter.

Wallace, notorious for bantering with officials and reacting
demonstratively to their calls, might have trouble adjusting to a
new NBA point of emphasis.

He was called for a foul late in the first quarter. When he
reacted with his eyes wide, mouth open in disbelief and his arms
out at his sides, official Ken Mauer whistled him for a technical.

Official Luis Grillo ejected Wallace with a second technical
after twice motioning -- with his finger across his neck -- for him
to stop complaining about a call against teammate Mohammed.

Players are fined $1,000 for each of their first five
technicals, an amount that increases by $500 for each five after
that, capped by a $2,500 penalty for each one starting with the
16th. A one-game suspension also comes at that point and for every
other technical thereafter.

No wonder it drew a response from Wallace, who earned 16
technicals last season and has said the point of emphasis is just
"another 'Sheed Wallace rule." Wallace broke his own league
record with 41 technical fouls during the 2000-01 season while
playing for Portland, and once threatened an official after a game
and was suspended for seven games.

NBA commissioner David Stern is trying to eliminate complaints
and other reactions after calls. Stern insists he's not targeting any individual player, but
rather all of those who take away from the flow of the game with
needless bickering.

Former Piston Ben Wallace, who used to wear wristbands with "No Fly Zone" printed on them, signed a four-year contract with the Chicago Bulls in the offseason for $60 million, leaving a team he helped win an NBA title in 2004 and advance to the previous four Eastern Conference finals.

"Ben's been the Defensive Player of the Year for what, four years? That says it better than anything else," Charlie Villanueva said after his 16-point, 12-rebound debut with Milwaukee. "They are a different team without him."

It took one possession to see how much Detroit missed Wallace. It was frequently obvious over the next 47-plus minutes.

Andrew Bogut scored the opening basket after Milwaukee grabbed rebounds off three missed shots. Bogut scored on an easy layup on the Bucks' next possession and Milwaukee continued to score uncontested baskets near the basket, where Wallace patrolled from 2000-06.

"I'm so tired of you all talking about Ben," said Detroit power forward Antonio McDyess, who is not easily irritated. "He's gone, we're not going to get him back. It's about us trying to come together as a team to find our identity now that he's gone."

The Pistons will quickly have to figure out how to prevent teams from scoring with ease near the basket after giving up 70 points in the paint against Milwaukee.

"Is that a record? I've never seen that in my life," McDyess said.

Actually, the Pistons fell 14 points short of the record for points in the paint allowed, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, but that's not much consolation.

Detroit also hurt its chances by making 22 turnovers.

"That was an embarrassing situation," Pistons coach Flip Saunders said.

The Pistons signed Nazr Mohammed a day after losing Wallace in July, and the lumbering center had a decent Detroit debut with eight points, 12 rebounds and a block before fouling out.

"My days of worrying about numbers are long gone," said Mohammed, starting his ninth season.

Rasheed Wallace, who was scoreless on 0-for-3 shooting and had three rebounds, was outplayed by Villanueva and Bogut before being tossed. Bogut scored 16 points and grabbed nine rebounds, a strong showing after the No. 1 pick from the 2005 NBA draft missed the preseason with a left leg injury.

The Bucks traded point guard T.J. Ford to Toronto for Villanueva because they wanted the young power forward and were confident in Mo Williams, who had 14 points, four assists and no turnovers against the Pistons.

Milwaukee newcomers Ruben Patterson, Brian Skinner and Steve Blake, acquired in two trades during the offseason, also helped knock off the defending Central Division champions.

The Bucks lost in the first round last year in the playoffs against top-seeded Detroit, which won a franchise-record 64 games.

Milwaukee was in control from start to finish in a game it never trailed. The Bucks led by 12 points in both the first and second quarters, built a 13-point cushion in the third before going ahead by 14 in the fourth and coasting in the final minutes.

"When we come into The Palace, where we were something like 0-5 last year, and play like this," Milwaukee coach Terry Stotts said, "it is going to build a lot of confidence for a young team."

Game notes
Like Wallace, Patterson was called for a technical for bickering with officials. "On me?" Patterson asked. "Yes, on you!" official Ken Mauer replied. ... Miami was the last team to match the NBA record for points in the paint, a stat that has been
kept since the 1996-97 season, scoring 84 in a game last season against Seattle. ... Reserve guard Flip Murray, signed along with Mohammed as a free agent, had 10 points in his Detroit debut.


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