for this game

Pistons sweep Grizzlies for third straight season

Dec 22, 2007 - 4:55 AM By Chuck Klonke PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

AUBURN HILLS, Michigan (Ticker) -- A balanced scoring attack and a strong second half helped the Detroit Pistons bring out the broom.

Tayshaun Prince scored 16 points to lead four starters in double figures as the Pistons completed a season sweep of the Memphis Grizzlies with a 94-67 victory on Friday night.

It was Detroit's second win in 10 days over Memphis, which dropped a 10-point decision in the first meeting on December 11. The Pistons have swept the season series the past three years.

Chauncey Billups and Richard Hamilton scored 14 points each and Antonio McDyess contributed 11 and 11 rebounds for the Pistons, who held a 26-16 edge in the third quarter to pull away.

"I thought we just had to pick up our intensity a little bit," Billups said. "We were settling for so many jump shots. We had to start going to the basket and either go to the free-throw line or get layups. We picked it up in the third quarter and kinda opened the game up."

Memphis coach Marc Iavaroni felt that the Grizzlies should have been ahead at halftime.

"I felt good about it at halftime," Iavaroni said. "Just the turnovers and some hustle things that we weren't getting done. We probably should have been up at the half.

"They were coming off a big win (at Boston), so we felt we should have come in with a lot of energy and see what we could do. The third quarter, we just gradually lost our cohesiveness. We didn't have a lot of energy and it got away from us."

Detroit continued to add to its cushion in the fourth when rookie Rodney Stuckey scored with 6:26 remaining to extend the lead to 83-60.

Taken 15th overall in June's draft, Stuckey made his NBA debut after breaking his left hand in the final preseason game on October 2.

Stuckey said that he didn't have any first-game jitters.

"Not at all," he said. "This is what I do for a living. I never get nervous playing basketball."

Another Detroit rookie, Arron Afflalo, scored a career-high 12 points off the bench and provided a spark with his defense in the first half.

"He's got one great talent. He plays hard," Detroit coach Flip Saunders said. "That can be as much talent as anything else. How hard he plays, and the passion he plays with, becomes very catchy. When you play like that, good things happen defensively. Offensively, he's not blessed but he's very efficient."

Memphis' Pau Gasol was also returning for the first time after missing the last four games with a jammed big toe. He finished with 10 points and 10 boards in 31 minutes.

Rudy Gay led the charge with 16 points for the Grizzlies, who shot just 33 percent (24-of-71) from the field and committed 22 turnovers.

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