Wallace, Iverson lead rally as Pistons upend SpursDec 3, 2008 - 5:20 AM By Brian Guerra PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
SAN ANTONIO (Ticker) -- The Detroit Pistons were coming from every direction Tuesday night - and the San Antonio Spurs just couldn't keep up.
Rasheed Wallace scored 17 of his 19 points in the second half as the Pistons used a balanced and multi-faceted offensive attack to rally from behind, erupting in the fourth quarter to steal an 89-77 victory on the road over the Spurs.
"We kept it simple," Pistons coach Michael Curry said. "I told them to go out and play harder than the other team."
Wallace put the game on ice with a pair of 3-point buckets in the final two minutes.
"He played great and hit big shots down the stretch," Pistons guard Arron Afflalo said. "He was a positive force tonight."
San Antonio held Detroit in check for much of the first three quarters before the Pistons finally caught fire. They staged a 7-0 run to erase a three-point deficit, as Allen Iverson buried a 19-footer and Wallace followed with a 3-pointer to pull Detroit ahead, 68-66. Amir Johnson added a bucket in the paint to extend the lead to four as the Spurs dropped their second straight.
"The most disturbing thing is that we were very soft," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "I think Detroit intimidated us. I think they ran us all over the court with their aggressiveness and physicality. I thought we totally folded to their aggressive play."
Iverson was the catalyst for Detroit, collecting 19 points, six assists and four steals while Richard Hamilton added 16 points.
Wallace provided a much-needed boost after the Pistons fell behind by as many as 10 in the third quarter. The Pistons cut the Spurs' lead to 52-50 after Iverson picked Tony Parker's pocket and went the other way for a layup, but Bruce Bowen buried a 3-pointer a few minutes later to push the lead back to 10.
Detroit's defense stiffened from there on out, while San Antonio's all but disappeared.
"We had to come out in the second half and match their energy," Wallace said. "If we didn't, they would have routed us."
As part of a 24-7 Pistons run, Wallace scored six straight points and Iverson drained a 3-pointer that cut the lead to one. But Manu Ginobili - playing his fourth game since returning from offseason ankle surgery - responded with a 3-pointer of his own, and San Antonio led 63-59.
Detroit led, 74-67, before Roger Mason connected from the arc but quickly responded with seven straight points to help put any thoughts of a late Spurs rally to rest.
"They got the loose balls. They got the extra rebound. They got the extra play," Mason said. "That's something we can control. You can't always hit the shots, but you have to be able to control that."
In the first half, both teams exchanged leads. The Pistons staged an 8-0 run, including two dunks from Jason Maxiell for a 31-26 lead. Fabricio Oberto's shot off the glass stopped the bleeding.
And while the Spurs' trio of Duncan, Parker and Ginobili all scored in double figures, no one else scored more than six. Meanwhile, Detroit had five players in double figures. Tim Duncan led San Antonio with 23 points and 13 boards.
"This has got to be one of our worst games of the season. We just didn't perform well," Parker said. "They outplayed us at both ends of the court."
Wallace received a technical foul with 6:09 left in the third for arguing a call that seemed to spark his play. Wallace said he spoke out because he wanted to make sure his team got fair calls.
"We knew how it would be going against the league darlings," Wallace said.
Curry never believed Wallace would do anything to hurt the team's chances of winning.
"It seems like he's not in control, but he is, and he does things to lift the team up," Curry said.
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