Wallace leads Pistons past Hawks 94-88Nov 29, 2009 - 9:42 PM DETROIT(AP) -- The Detroit Pistons have been one of the league's better offensive-rebounding teams this season.
Sunday, they took it to another level.
Detroit had 24 offensive rebounds, including 11 from Ben Wallace, as they ended a seven-game losing streak with a 94-88 win over the Atlanta Hawks.
"Ben was phenomenal again today," Detroit coach John Kuester said. "It's amazing the level that he is still grabbing rebounds."
Wallace finished with 18 total rebounds and 10 points, while rookie Jonas Jerebko added 11 rebounds and 10 points. Jason Maxiell, moved into the starting lineup in place of Charlie Villanueva, had another four offensive rebounds. The Pistons had a 30-10 advantage on second-chance points.
"Boy, Jonas has been a pleasant surprise for us this year, and Max did a great job for us today," Kuester said. "Charlie provides a lot of offense, and we thought he could give us a spark off the bench."
Kuester has done a lot of lineup juggling this season, and faced another game Sunday without starters Richard Hamilton (ankle), Tayshaun Prince (back) and Ben Gordon (ankle). Along with moving Maxiell off the bench, he put veteran point-guard Chucky Atkins in for rookie Austin Daye.
That move paid off, too, as Atkins' presence took pressure off slumping Rodney Stuckey. Playing more shooting guard, Stuckey had 23 points and eight assists.
"We talk about the leadership that we get from Ben, Tayshaun and Rip, but we need to add Chucky to that discussion," Kuester said. "He's been huge for our young guards. He's going to be a coach in this league, and he's doing a lot of that for us."
Will Bynum added 19 points off the bench.
"We know we can beat any team - it is up to us to come out and do the things that give us a chance to be in the game at the end," he said. "We've been struggling to close games out, but today we did a good job with that."
Josh Smith led Atlanta with 21, but the Hawks couldn't overcome Detroit's 53-27 rebounding advantage.
"When you get beat like that on the boards, you aren't going to beat many teams in this league," Atlanta coach Mike Woodson said. "We just didn't compete today. We've been a team that has always been full of effort, and today we got outworked and I'm embarrassed."
With Wallace, Jerebko and Maxiell attacking the offensive glass, Detroit had 17 second-choice points on their way to a 55-47 halftime lead.
Detroit expanded the margin to as many as 11 in the third, but Atlanta was within two, 67-65, at quarter's end. The Hawks scored the first basket of the fourth, but the Pistons responded with an 10-0 run to go up 77-67 with 7:45 left.
Atlanta narrowed the gap to 89-85 with 30 seconds to play, and after Maxiell made one of two free throws, Mike Bibby made it a two-point game with a long 3-pointer. Detroit, though, clinched the game from the line.
"Ben Wallace just outworked us today," Smith said. "It was a lack of effort on our part. We have to know that Ben is going to do that. It's kind of discouraging, because we had all our guys, and we knew how many key guys they had out, and we were not able to get the win."
NOTES: Atkins hadn't started an NBA game since 2007, and hadn't started for Detroit since Nov. 30, 2002. ... Villanueva was hit in the face while being fouled with 9:30 to play, breaking his nose. He shot the free throws with a large wad of gauze stemming the blood flow, but then went to the locker room and did not return. The Pistons expect to have an update on his playing status Monday.
DETROIT 94 FINAL
Nov 29 3:24 PM
DETROIT 67 END, 3RD QTR
Nov 29 2:42 PM
DETROIT 55 HALFTIME
Nov 29 2:03 PM
DETROIT 27 END, 1ST QTR
Nov 29 1:34 PM
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