Pistons knock off Cavaliers, 90-78
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Ben Wallace doesn't get MVP consideration or hit dramatic shots like his All-Star teammates.
But none of the Detroit Pistons has any doubt about which player is at the heart of their 46-9 start.
Yesterday, Wallace had 11 points and 19 rebounds as the Pistons beat the Cleveland Cavaliers, 90-78.
"They might as well take the Defensive Player of the Year award and send it to Ben," Pistons coach Flip Saunders said. "He's been on a mission in the last three weeks, and when you look at all of the things he's doing — rebounding, blocking shots and making steals — he's been phenomenal."
Detroit never trailed, and led by at least 10 points for most of the second half. The teams play again tonight in Cleveland.
"They did a great job taking us out of our offense," Cavs coach Mike Brown said. "There is no way you can win on the road with 20 turnovers, especially against a team like this."
The Pistons have won five straight overall and 12 in a row at the Palace, while Cleveland lost its third in a row.
Chauncey Billups led the Pistons with 21 points while Richard Hamilton added 18 and Rasheed Wallace had 15.
Timberwolves 105, Grizzlies 99: Ricky Davis scored a season-high 35 points to help host Minnesota overcome Kevin Garnett's ejection. Garnett was tossed in the third quarter for flipping the ball into the stands and accidentally hitting a fan. He was frustrated after being called for an offensive foul with the Wolves leading 64-61 with 7:47 left in the quarter.
Celtics 112, Lakers 111: Paul Pierce scored 39 points for visiting Boston — including the deciding foul shot with 3.2 seconds left. Pierce has had at least 30 points in eight of his last nine games, and averaged 33.5 in 11 games in February. Pierce was fouled by Kobe Bryant, and made the first foul shot to complete the scoring.
Hornets 88, Trail Blazers 75: David West scored 12 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter, and Chris Paul had 19 points and eight assists in visiting New Orleans' seventh victory in its last nine games. Zach Randolph had 23 points and eight rebounds for Portland.
Rockets 89, Magic 84: Yao Ming had 29 points and 11 rebounds, and Tracy McGrady added 19 points, nine rebounds and five assists for visiting Houston. Grant Hill led Orlando with 22 points, four rebounds and four assists.
Pacers 101, Nets 91: Peja Stojakovic and Fred Jones each had 22 points to help visiting Indiana snap a six-game road losing streak. Richard Jefferson scored 23 points to lead New Jersey.