AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Dec. 16 (Ticker) -- Ben Wallace and the Detroit Pistons displayed the type of suffocating defense that led them to the NBA title last season.

Wallace had 10 points and 15 rebounds and the Pistons held the Cleveland Cavaliers to a season-low six points in the third quarter en route to an 81-69 victory.

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The Pistons set a franchise record for fewest points allowed in a quarter, breaking the old mark of seven, set against the Charlotte Hornets on Dec. 28, 1996.

"In the first half we didn't match their energy," Detroit coach Larry Brown said. "They got every loose ball and every long rebound. In the second half, we played as well as we could play. We didn't get beat on dribble penetration, which kept them off the offensive boards and kept LeBron (James) from finding people."

The Cavaliers, who led 41-31 at the half, made just 3-of-18 shots in the third quarter with Drew Gooden scoring all six points.

LeBron James scored a season-low 11 points, making just four of 21 shots. He had a season-high 43 points against Detroit in the first meeting between the teams, Nov. 24.

"I missed a lot of shots that I normally make," James said. "But they played a lot more aggressive defense against me tonight. Every time I came off a screen, they doubled me and I had to get rid of the ball."

"We didn't talk at all about his scoring 43," Wallace said. "If we play defense the way we can, we don't have to worry about anybody scoring 43 against us. We just have to keep putting up the type of defense that makes teams struggle."

The Pistons erased a sizeable halftime deficit for the second straight night. Detroit beat the New York Knicks Wednesday after trailing by 16 at intermission.

"We continue to make it tough on ourselves in the first half," Wallace said. "We play too relaxed. Coming out in the second half, you have to get out and play hard to make up the difference from the first half. I think our defense really made that statement for us tonight."

The Pistons were down, 45-40, with 6:36 to play in the third quarter after a breakaway dunk by Gooden, but Detroit finished the period on a 12-2 run.

Richard Hamilton scored 15 of his 21 points in the second half and led five players in double figures. Chauncey Billups scored 16 and Rasheed Wallace added 13.

"We just tried to be more patient on offense in the second half and try to get to the free-throw line," Hamilton said.

The Pistons went to the line 19 times in the second half, making 18, while Cleveland shot just 3-of-4.

Cleveland coach Paul Silas was more disappointed with his team's composure than its performance.

"We just lost our poise and you can't do that," Silas said. "You can't lose your focus."

Although the Cavaliers have a better record than the Pistons, Silas admitted they're still not in the same class as the defending champions.

"What's most frustrating about tonight is that we're not there yet," Silas said. "We're still trying to get there. But it's these kind of games that we have to learn from."

The victory was Brown's 945th in the NBA, passing Bill Fitch for fourth place all-time.

Cavaliers point guard Eric Snow was sent to the locker room in the second quarter after an argument with Silas. Snow, who was lifted following an eight-second violation, returned to the bench at the start of the second half but did not re-enter the game.

"I'm not going to discuss that. It's an internal matter," Silas said.

Snow declined to comment.