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Wallace stars in first game vs. Pistons

Jan 7, 2007 - 6:49 AM CHICAGO (Ticker) -- Luol Deng helped teammate Ben Wallace come away smiling.

Deng scored 30 points and Wallace chipped in 12, 14 rebounds and six blocks as the Chicago Bulls coasted to a 106-89 triumph over the Detroit Pistons.

A four-time Defensive Player of the Year, Wallace spent the previous six seasons in Detroit, helping the Pistons win the 2004 NBA championship.

"It wasn't that big of a deal for me," Wallace said. "I think the hype was bigger than the game itself. For us, winning another game against a division opponent was the key."

But in the offseason, Wallace declined a four-year, $48 million offer by the Pistons, instead inking a $60 million deal with their Central Division rival.

"It was fun in a way, but it was different seeing him out there in a different uniform," Detroit guard Richard Hamilton said. "But it was fun."

Reserve Ben Gordon scored 23 points and Andres Nocioni added 21 for Chicago, which remain undefeated in 13 home games against the Eastern Conference.

It was the first home win for Chicago in 12 straight meeting against Detroit.

"I wasn't here for all those games, but it's nice for the guys who have been around for a long time," said Deng, who pulled down seven rebounds.

Deng scored six points during a 10-4 surge in the third quarter, giving Chicago a 68-53 bulge with just over eight minutes left. The Bulls outscored the Pistons, 29-20, in the period.

"Luol played a complete game on both ends of the court," Bulls coach Scott Skiles said. "It was just a complete game for him all the way around."

Wallace and the Bulls' frontcourt did an excellent job on Detroit forward Rasheed Wallace, who was held to just eight points.

"We had a few laughs out there at the beginning of the game," Ben Wallace said. "I don't know if he was totally into the game or not."

In the fourth quarter, Gordon converted a rare four-point play at the 11:45 mark as the Bulls extended the advantage to 88-66.

Hamilton scored 27 points and Nazr Mohammed added 15 for the Pistons, who shot 34 percent (31-of-89) from the floor and fell to 2-8 when allowing over 100 points.

Detroit fell to 1-2 without All-Star guard Chauncey Billups, who is still nursing his injured right calf.

"We missed Chauncey from a standpoint of controlling the tempo," Pistons coach Flip Saunders said. "Our guards didn't shoot very well and we didn't get into our offense. When things got rocky we panicked and that's where not having his leadership hurt us."

Chicago moved ahead of Detroit for second place in the Central Division.

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