Wallace, Pistons snap mini-slide, cruise past SpursJan 11, 2008 - 5:12 AM By Brian Guerra PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
SAN ANTONIO (Ticker) -- The Detroit Pistons quickly got back on the winning track.
Rasheed Wallace collected 23 points and 15 rebounds as the Pistons pulled ahead early and kept the San Antonio Spurs at bay the rest of the game for a 90-80 victory Thursday night at the AT&T Center.
Tayshaun Prince, Richard Hamilton and Chauncey Billups combined to score 48 points for Detroit.
"Rasheed is without a doubt our No. 1 option," Billups said. "When he's locked in, we take advantage of that and use him as much as we can."
The Pistons responded well after dropping two straight, including a loss to Boston - which has the best record in the NBA - and Wednesday night at Dallas, the owner of the last season's best mark.
"Well, we had a couple of bad performances in Boston and Dallas, so I think there was no question that we were going to come out tonight with great focus and play well," Pistons coach Flip Saunders said.
The Spurs led 15-14, but were unable to score in the final 4:15 of the first quarter. The Pistons used a 16-0 run in that span to grab a 30-15 lead heading into the second.
Prince and Hamilton scored 19 of the first-quarter points on a combined 9-of-11 shooting.
"Well, if not for a six-minute portion of the game where we were really bad, I thought we competed really well and executed well," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "We spent the night trying to climb back. Tonight, we played, 42 minutes - not 48 - and that's not good enough against a really good team like Detroit."
Detroit and San Antonio each scored 24 points in the second quarter, and the Pistons maintained their 15-point edge at halftime, 54-39.
Spurs superstar Tim Duncan said slow starts have troubled the his team lately.
"It's very frustrating," Duncan said. "Our first half has not been very good the last 10 or 15 games. We came out with a decent start, but then we had that lull when nothing went right for us. Defensively, we were bad, and offensively, we couldn't put the ball in the basket."
The Pistons led by as many as 20 points in the first half, but the Spurs made a strong push in the third quarter. Detroit shot just 26 percent, and San Antonio took advantage of it.
Duncan scored 10 points in the quarter, and Manu Ginobili hit a pair of free throws that cut the Pistons' lead to 63-54 with 2:41 left in the third.
Shortly after, Jason Maxiell missed an easy dunk on one end for Detroit, and Duncan followed with a dunk over Prince on the other end that cut the deficit to seven.
Wallace wasn't too worried.
"We weren't going to hang our heads or mope around (after the two straight losses)," Wallace said. "That's not us. We want to win too much. Everyone in here is a winner."
Heading into the fourth quarter, the Pistons had four players in double figures and the Spurs still had only one in Duncan.
Tony Parker had an off night, missing many of the fast-break scoop layups that he normally converts. He managed to score a few baskets late and finished with 12 points on 4-of-12 shooting with five turnovers for the Spurs.
Jacque Vaughn, who finished with 10 points, made two free throws early in the fourth, and the Spurs trailed by just seven, but the Pistons would not allow them to get any closer the rest of the game.
Like Duncan, Vaughn also said it is frustrating knowing the Spurs would be chasing Detroit the rest of the game.
"Because of the caliber of the team we were playing, we knew it was going to be an uphill battle," he said.
Duncan led San Antonio in points, rebounds and assists with 24, 15 and five.
"I thought Duncan and Vaughn were fantastic," Popovich said. "They just needed a little help, and didn't get any."
SAN ANTONIO 85 FINAL
Jan 10 10:42 PM
SAN ANTONIO 58 END, 3RD QTR
Jan 10 9:57 PM
SAN ANTONIO 39 HALFTIME
Jan 10 9:13 PM
SAN ANTONIO 15 END, 1ST QTR
Jan 10 8:40 PM
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