for this game

Iverson's 27 help Pistons edge Grizzlies

Jan 20, 2009 - 3:27 AM By Jason Smith PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

MEMPHIS, Tennessee (Ticker) -- Allen Iverson scored 10 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter Monday to help the Detroit Pistons snap a five-game losing streak with an 87-79 road victory over the Memphis Grizzlies.

The nationally televised game was part of the Grizzlies' seventh annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration.

Richard Hamilton and Rodney Stuckey added 14 points apiece for Detroit, which held Memphis without a field goal over the final 2:55 in spoiling the Grizzlies' MLK Day festivities.

"To (heck) with a monkey, that was like getting a gorilla off our back," said Iverson, who finished 11-of-18 from the field in helping Detroit snap its longest losing streak since 2004.

"This one was hard. You look at that team and their record and you think we're supposed to roll over top of them, but it was a hard-fought game."

Rudy Gay and O.J. Mayo each scored 15 points to lead Memphis, which finished just 42 percent (32-of-77) from the field overall and shot 20 percent (4-of-20) in the fourth quarter.

"That's what we had to get back to - defending," Hamilton said of the Pistons' fourth-quarter defensive effort. "We got some stops and that was the key. When we get stops, we love our chances of winning basketball games."

Detroit led by as many as nine points early in the third quarter before Memphis used a 9-4 scoring run to tie the game at 65-65 with 1:56 left in the period.

A minute later, the Grizzlies took their first lead since early in the second quarter on rookie forward Darrell Arthur's 14-footer just outside the lane.

Arthur's bucket gave the Grizzlies a 69-67 advantage heading into the fourth quarter before Memphis was outscored, 20-10, in the final period.

Both teams entered Monday's game riding five-game losing streaks, the longest active skids in the NBA.

Iverson scored Detroit's final 10 points of the first quarter and 12 of the team's 20 in the period on 5-of-6 shooting.

"We depend on him," Pistons coach Michael Curry said of Iverson. "We want to make sure we put him in a position to score the basketball, and we definitely want the ball in his hands."

Hamilton took over for the Pistons in the second quarter, scoring 12 points on 6-of-6 shooting for the Pistons, who connected on nine of their first 12 shot attempts to begin the quarter.

Despite shooting 53 percent (19-of-36) from the floor in the first half, Detroit held just a 43-39 lead at the break against a Grizzlies team that finished 47.5 percent (19-of-40) from the field in the first half.

"I thought we played much better as a unit," Memphis coach Marc Iavaroni said. "We played tougher. We rebounded the ball. We played aggressive. Unfortunately, down the stretch, they got some better looks than we did and we just couldn't put the ball in the hole."

Gay's 10 first-half points paced Memphis, which outscored Detroit, 22-10, in the paint in the first half while outrebounding the Pistons, 22-19.

"We kind of collapsed at the end and they really picked it up," Gay said. "Allen picked it up and Rasheed (Wallace) really picked up his defense and really helped them to the win."

Before Monday's game, the Grizzlies honored NBA legends Julius "Dr. J" Erving and Dave Bing for their contributions to civil and human rights as part of the team's MLK Day celebration.

Erving, an 11-time All-Star with the Philadelphia 76ers, and Bing, a Hall of Famer who played 12 seasons with the Pistons, Washington Bullets and Boston Celtics, also were the featured speakers during the Grizzlies' MLK Jr. Day Sports Legacy Symposium.

"It wasn't the televised part that was a big thing," Memphis center Marc Gasol said. "It was more of the Martin Luther King Jr. celebration that was the main part. Everybody had a little bit more motivation today because of that."