Detroit 95, Denver 82

DENVER, March 9 (AP) -- The NBA can fine Detroit's Rasheed Wallace all it wants.

He's not going to change the way he plays. Money is just not that important to him.

Wallace picked up his 16th technical foul of the season - incurring an automatic one-game suspension - in the Pistons' 95-82 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Friday night.

He was unapologetic for drawing the second-quarter technical after jawing at an official.

"It don't matter to me,'' Wallace said of the fine he'll draw. "They think suspending me one game, I'm losing all this money and this and that. Money ain't nothing to me for the simple fact I wasn't born with it. Just as fast as you get money, you can lose money. Money's not going to change my character, money's not going to change the person I am.''

Wallace, who scored 17 points and grabbed 10 boards, will miss the Pistons' game Sunday at the Los Angeles Clippers. He thinks the team can do just fine without him for a game.

"We're still going to go out there and play Pistons basketball,'' he said. "We still got guys who can play. I ain't worried about (missing the game).''

Wallace was still in a good enough mood to give teammate Chauncey Billups a hard time. Midway through the third quarter, Billups elected to coast in for a dunk in front of his hometown crowd rather than lay it in like he typically does. Billups' dunk began a 13-2 run that gave the Pistons a 72-55 lead, but led to all sorts of harassment.

"We killed him on that Greg Ostertag fingertip dunk,'' Wallace said. "We've been trying to get him to dunk all year, so I guess he decided to come home to get his little fingertip dunk.''

Billups defended his dunk.

"I've been struggling so bad,'' said Billups, who's from Denver. "I had to do something that I haven't done. I missed a million jumpers, I'm just like, 'I'll just try and dunk it.'''

Billups took offense at Wallace calling it an Ostertag dunk.

"My hops? I can jump better him,'' Billups said. "I'm 6-3, he's 6-11, (and) barely dunking.''

The Nuggets, who've dropped three of their last four, are beginning to hear it from the fans. As he walked off the court, Carmelo Anthony said a fan screamed at him.

"One of the guys in the stands said something like, 'Melo, you suck,''' said Anthony, who had 17 points. "He said, 'Why you here in Denver?' I understand from a fan's standpoint that they want their team to win. But when you go overboard like that, it's uncalled for. If we retaliate, then we're the bad people. I tried to keep my mouth shut at the end.''

Allen Iverson was in a downcast mood after the game as well. He was short with his postgame comments.

"We just lost two basketball games in a row,'' said Iverson, who finished with 19 points. "Definitely a concern there. We just got to be confident (we) can get it together.''

Iverson took a hard fall on his elbow in the second half, but said there's nothing wrong.

"I'm all right,'' he said.

Anthony is getting used to the life of changing diapers, midnight feedings and limited sleep. He became a father on Wednesday when his fiancee, actress La La Vazquez, gave birth to the 5-pound, 9-ounce Kiyan Anthony.

"It has been a blessing,'' said Anthony, whose son's name is his and his father's middle name.

The birth, albeit only two days ago, has already mellowed Anthony. He showed restraint when the fan heckled him.

"I won't put as much stress on myself,'' Anthony said. "I can now just go home and see him and put all that other stuff behind me. It will take a burden off myself.''

Although the Pistons will be without Wallace for a game, coach Flip Saunders wasn't too worried. The Pistons were without him for three games recently due to a sore left foot.

However, the team went 1-2 without him.

"We'll put somebody in,'' Saunders said. "We'll have to wait and see.''

Notes: Chris Webber led the Pistons with 20 points. ... The Nuggets were without G J.R. Smith, who's on the mend from arthroscopic surgery on his left knee. ... Denver is now 0-21 this season when scoring under 100 points. ... Pistons G Lindsey Hunter missed his second contest in a 10-game suspension for taking a banned substance primarily used for weight loss. The league suspended him Wednesday.

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