Pistons shut down Mavs

Rasheed Wallace drives against the Mavericks' Dirk Nowitzki. Wallace scored 21 points.
Rasheed Wallace drives against the Mavericks' Dirk Nowitzki. Wallace scored 21 points.

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. - Clank!

The Detroit Pistons held Dallas to its worst game offensively this season, and Rasheed Wallace backed up his talk with 21 points and nine rebounds in a 90-67 win yesterday.

The Mavericks had their lowest scoring game while making a season-low 30 percent of their shots.

Dallas missed 16 straight shots - spanning 8 1/2 minutes in the first and second quarters - leading to scoring a season-low 38 points and shooting a season-worst 29 percent in the first half.

"We were active and switched more than we usually do," Pistons coach Flip Saunders said. "And, we threw a couple zones in."

Dallas had a rough day at the other end of the court too.

Wallace said the Pistons had to take advantage of the undersized Mavericks by going inside, and he did.

The bombastic center scored over Dirk Nowitzki on a fadeaway late in the third quarter as Detroit pulled away, and Wallace had more to say to the Mavericks.

"He can't guard me!" Wallace screamed toward Dallas' bench.

Saunders isn't sure anybody in the NBA can effectively defend Wallace under some conditions.

"When Rasheed is ready, motivated, and focused, he can dominate anyone he plays," Saunders said. "He's that good."

The Pistons were on the other end of a 102-86 rout a month ago in Dallas.

"They looked a little like the Mavericks the time we played them down in Dallas," coach Avery Johnson said. "They really wanted to even up the series, and they came out and took care of business."

Nowitzki had 15 points on 3-of-18 shooting and 10 rebounds, Josh Howard scored 15, and reserve Brandon Bass added 14.

Despite Dallas' awful start, Detroit led just 20-14 after the first quarter and 44-38 at halftime.

While Wallace scored seven, and Nowitzki was scoreless in the third, the Pistons took control by outscoring the Mavericks 22-13 in quarter.

"Our goal is to always push for the first five minutes of the half and if we can, it seals the game," rookie Rodney Stuckey said.

Tayshaun Prince scored 16, and Hamilton scored all 10 of his points in the second half for the Pistons, who got solid contributions off the bench for the second straight game. Stuckey scored a career-high 11, and Jarvis Hayes had 10.

The Pistons have won five straight.


WASHINGTON - Kobe Bryant outscored the Washington Wizards all by himself in the first quarter. Then he let his Los Angeles Lakers teammates in on the fun.

Bryant put up 19 points in the opening period on his way to finishing with 30 on 10-of-15 shooting, and the Lakers had no need for the newly acquired Pau Gasol in an easy victory over the Wizards.

Gasol, the 7-foot Spaniard who came over from the Memphis Grizzlies in a trade Friday, sat on the sideline in a pinstriped suit jacket, listening to tips on the Lakers' triangle offense from assistant coach Brian Shaw.

The Lakers compiled 27 assists on 41 field goals, with Vladimir Radmanovic scoring 15 points, Lamar Odom 14, and Ronny Turiaf 13.

Antawn Jamison led Washington with 21 points and 11 rebounds, while Washington's all-star representative, Caron Butler, returned from a three-game injury absence and scored 15.