AUBURN HILLS, Mich., June 16 (Ticker) -- Rasheed Wallace
The Palace of Auburn Hills Thursday wearing a Philadelphia Flyers jersey
of Dave Schultz, who was known as "The Hammer."
He and the rest of the Detroit Pistons brought it down hard on
the San Antonio Spurs.
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Wallace had his best game of the series with 14 points, eight
rebounds and two blocks as the Pistons used brute force to nail
the Spurs, 102-71, and even the NBA Finals at two games each.
"They were physical again, and they got us on our heels again,
we reacted very poorly to it, and you see the result," Spurs
coach Gregg Popovich
It was another home win and another blowout in a series that
looks to be headed the distance. The visitor has been run off
the court in each game, and the only adjustments have been the
A Philadelphia native, Wallace pounded his chest during pregame
introductions and windmilled his arms just before tip-off. That
got everyone into it, including himself.
"It helps get the crowd into it, and it gets the energy going,"
Wallace said. "The crowd is big for us. They get into it when
we get good ball movement and get a good shot out of it. They
get behind us even if we almost get a steal."
Quiet thus far in this series, the 6-11 forward drained a pair
of 3-pointers and bullied Tim Duncan
with single coverage in the
decisive first half, allowing his teammates to swarm the Spurs
with their trademark defense.
San Antonio had 11 baskets and 10 turnovers, unraveling with a
drought of four-plus minutes at the outset of the second
quarter. Its best player was Devin Brown
, who played just 10
minutes in the first three games and was used out of
"I hate to say it, but we collapsed," Brown said.
Offense appeared to be a foreign notion to San Antonio's
backcourt of Argentine Manu Ginobili
and Frenchman Tony Parker
who combined for just eight points and no energy in the first
half, which Popovich called the worst half by any team in the
"It's disappointing that their physical play and their defense
has taken us away from that we normally do these last two
games," Popovich said.
Wallace was one of seven Pistons in double figures. So was
reserve guard Lindsey Hunter
, who scored nine of his 17 points
in the third quarter while applying his pressure defense, which
again was a factor.
"We're good defensively and when we do share the ball, it's hard
for us to lose," Hunter said.
scored 17 points and Ben Wallace
added 11 and
13 rebounds for the Pistons, who set a Finals record with just
four turnovers. They also forced 18, converting them to 25
"It's real important if we can make them turn the ball over,"
Rasheed Wallace said. "It's hard to win when you have a lot of
The Pistons also shot 46 percent - sinking at least a half-dozen
shots as the shot clock wound down - while scoring 19
second-chance points and 22 on the fast break.
"I told you guys after Game 3 we had to play our best game
to win, and this was a pretty special game," Pistons coach
said. "I don't know if we could have done any better."
Duncan had 16 points and 16 rebounds. After a subpar
performance in Game 3, he was expected to have a big game
but was prevented from finding any real rhythm by Rasheed
Wallace, who was up to the challenge as he harassed the
superstar to 5-of-17 shooting but downplayed his effort.
"I don't think we've frustrated him too much," Rasheed Wallace
said. "He still is out there doing his thing."
"It's a very physical game," Duncan said. "Those guys, they
throw a lot of bodies at you and each with their own little
style. Some are physical, some are loose or whatever it may
Game 5 is Sunday in Detroit, with the first four decided by a
combined 84 points. En route to the title last year, the
Pistons became the first team to sweep the middle three games
at home and are on the verge of doing it again.
"We need to refocus," said Parker, who scored 12 points. "We
have two days to think about it and come back strong."
"First one to two (wins), so it's going to be a lot of fun,"
Rasheed Wallace had a follow dunk in an early 11-3 surge that
gave the Pistons the lead for good. His 3-pointer ended the
first quarter and started a 14-0 run filled with mistakes by the
Spurs, who had all sorts of trouble getting into their offense.
Like Schultz's "Broad Street Bullies," the Pistons pushed around
the Spurs, who never pushed back. After digging themselves a
34-17 hole early in the second period, they were within single
digits for all of 19 seconds and cowered in the second half.
It was the biggest blowout in the Finals since Indiana's 120-87
rout of the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 5 in 2000.
"There was no minute in the whole game that we were close,"
Ginobili said. "It was a really ugly loss."
San Antonio whittled a 51-36 halftime deficit to 11 points
before the emergence of Hunter, who sank four jumpers and a free
throw in a span of three minutes to rebuild the lead to 70-53
with 2:35 to go.
After that, all the 22,076 at The Palace cared about was the
appearance of human victory cigar Darko Milicic
, who came on
late and scored in the final minute.
Ginobili scored 12 meaningless points. He has 19 in the last
two games after scoring 53 in the first two.
"They have packed it in on him, made it difficult for him to get
into the lane and he's just going to have to let the game come
to him and not worry too much about making something happen
every time he touches the ball," Popovich said.