Webber's follow shot spoils Wallace's return to DetroitFeb 25, 2007 - 10:00 PM AUBURN HILLS, Michigan (Ticker) -- Chris Webber made the biggest play in the paint.
Webber converted a follow shot with 2.2 seconds remaining to lift the Detroit Pistons to a 95-93 victory over the Chicago Bulls and spoil Ben Wallace's return to the Palace of Auburn Hills.
The battle of Central Division rivals featured Wallace's return to Detroit, where he spent the previous six seasons and was a member of the 2003-04 championship squad and captured the Defensive Player of the Year Award four times.
However, the 6-9 Wallace left Motown in the offseason, signing a four-year, $60 million deal to become the anchor in the middle of the Chicago defense.
Wallace received a rude welcome to his former home as he was booed each time he touched the ball. His biggest cheers came after he was whistled for a technical foul in the third quarter.
"It was about what I expected. I figured the people that wanted to cheer me would really cheer me, and the people that wanted to boo me would really boo me," Wallace said. "It doesn't bother me none. I expected the fans to cheer for their team."
"I wasn't surprised because earlier in the season, when they showed him on the monitor, I heard all them boo him," Pistons forward Tayshaun Prince said. "I kind of expected it would be like that today."
Through all of the booing, Wallace still enjoyed getting together with his former teammates.
"There was a lot of trash-talking out there," Wallace said. "It was a lot of fun. Those guys weren't just teammates, they were my friends. We won a championship together, but we have a bond that goes beyond basketball. We still call each other and keep up with each other. That hasn't changed."
Wallace finished with six points, eight rebounds and two blocks in 40 minutes.
"Ben's pretty steady with the way he approaches the game," Bulls coach Scott Skiles said. "I'm sure there had to be a little more going on inside than normal, but he didn't show it."
Pistons point guard Chauncey Billups was happy to see Wallace.
"We have just been talking so much stuff over the last three, four days," Billups said. "It's just fun to be out there with him and playing against him. It's like playing against your brother after not seeing him in a long, long time. I wished him luck the rest of the way and told him to take his butt-whooping and go home."
Webber drew the biggest cheers, when he got inside of P.J. Brown and put home Billups' miss to snap a 93-93 tie.
Webber tied a season high with 21 points and also grabbed nine rebounds.
Following a timeout, Ben Gordon had a chance to give the Bulls the win but his 3-pointer clanged high off the rim as time expired. He had made two free throws with 15 seconds left to cap a 7-0 run and tie the game at 93-93.
Richard Hamilton scored 22 points and Billups contributed 15 and nine assists for the Pistons (36-19), who have won four straight and 10 of their last 11 games.
Gordon scored 21 points, Brown had 19 and 12 rebounds and Luol Deng contributed 18 and eight for Chicago, which led by as many as 16 points in the third quarter.
Detroit closed the third quarter with a 12-2 surge to pull within 71-67 entering the final period.
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