Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Pistons Dominated the Spurs

Despite of the situation the Pistons are in including being in a summer camp mode since A.I. they still manage to win and compete to one of the premier title contender in the league, San Antonio Spurs. Final score is 89-77.

SIGNATURE WIN – The Pistons have had some brow-furrowing losses since adding Allen Iverson, but they’ve also had three signature wins in that relatively short time. The third came Tuesday night when they went into San Antonio – back to full health with the recent returns of Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili – and overcame a 10-point second-half deficit to win 89-77.
Together with their November wins over the Lakers on the road and Cleveland at The Palace, the Pistons can point to those games as strong evidence that when the pieces come together they still belong in any discussion of NBA title contenders.
San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich seemed convinced, at least in a roundabout way, sounding much like Michael Curry did after Boston bullied the Pistons two weeks ago.
“The most disturbing thing is that we were very soft,” Popovich said. “I think Detroit intimidated us. I think they ran us all over the court with their aggressiveness and physicality. It was really sad to watch in that respect. I thought we totally folded to their aggressive play.”
That aggression was embodied best, perhaps, by Rasheed Wallace. Wallace scored six straight points after San Antonio had taken the night’s only double-digits lead at 60-50 in the third quarter, then hit three huge triples in the fourth quarter when the Pistons outscored the Spurs 28-14. His 3-pointer with just over eight minutes left on a nice setup from Allen Iverson gave the Pistons the lead for good.
“Sheed was playing well throughout,” Curry said. “Some calls went against us in that stretch when it was 50 to 60 and we got so involved with the officiating we weren’t getting calls from the bench what we were supposed to do. We took three quick shots. We just said, ‘Everybody stay calm and work the game. If we move the ball side to side, we can get good shots and if we lock in to what we’re doing defensively and all five guys rebound, we know we’ll have a chance.’ ”
“We know they’re a good ballclub,” said Wallace, who finished with 19 points and five rebounds. “We had to match their energy. They had it in the first half. We just had to come out and do it in the second.”
Kwame Brown matched up with Duncan for most of the first and third quarters, but it was left to Wallace to guard him for most of the fourth. He held Duncan to one point.
Iverson had 19 points, six assists and four steals and Rip Hamilton scored 16 to give him 9,023 as a Piston and tie him for eighth on the franchise’s scoring list with John Long. Tayshaun Prince, after playing a season-low 22 minutes on Sunday, played 41 and contributed 15 points, 12 rebounds and five assists.
The teams swapped 12-0 runs in the second quarter, the Pistons going from seven down to five ahead and the Spurs from six down to six up. The Pistons’ run began when Duncan went to the bench, but it also was sparked by Rodney Stuckey leading an undersized group that defended well and produced transition opportunities. Stuckey finished with 10 points and seven assists in 31 minutes.

Knowing you cannot get away from making tiny mistakes from Poppavich and the Spurs, the Pistons were on their guard and got the job done. This should be a good momentum going into at least two days of practice and heading into a game against Philly.

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