Wallace was one of four All-Stars on last season’s Pistons (1-1) team that reached the Eastern Conference Finals for the fourth straight year and used the same starting lineup in an NBA-record 73 straight games. He then left via free agency for Chicago in the offseason.
Without Wallace at center, Detroit defeated Boston 101-88 on Friday behind the same team-oriented offense that has proven successful over the years. Richard Hamilton’s 27 points led five Pistons players in double figures.
Detroit also got a big boost from Rasheed Wallace, who had 18 points and nine boards against the Celtics after being ejected without scoring a point in the third quarter of Wednesday’s 105-97 loss to Milwaukee.
“I’m still out of rhythm a little bit, but I’m not worried about that at all,” he said. “As far as getting my bearings, I’m not where I want to be yet. But it’s still early in the season and it’s not a concern for me.”
Wednesday’s loss at the Palace was rare for Detroit, which posted a 37-4 home record last season, best in the NBA.
Detroit is 8-2 all-time against the Grizzlies (1-1) franchise at home, and has not lost consecutive games at the Palace of Auburn Hills since Dec. 18 and 22, 2004.
The Pistons won both of their games against Memphis last season, with Billups leading the way.
Billups combined to score 64 points in the two meetings against the Grizzlies, connecting on 54.8 percent (17-for-31) of his shots, including 75 percent (9-for-12) of his 3-pointers.
Memphis rallied in the fourth quarter to win its first game of the season Friday, a 96-83 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats.
Mike Miller scored 21 of his 27 points in the final period to help the Grizzlies outscore the Bobcats 36-13.
Miller scored 13 of his team’s 15 points in one stretch, starting with two free throws with 6:50 remaining in the game.
“He couldn’t miss a shot after that,” Memphis guard Eddie Jones said of Miller. “He was trying to miss shots and couldn’t miss one.”
Miller finished 8 of 13 from the floor, a big improvement on his 7-for-23 effort in Wednesday’s season opener, a 118-117 loss to New York in triple overtime.
The forward scored 30 points on 57.1 percent shooting with 14 rebounds in two games against the Pistons last season.
This contest begins a stretch of four road games in the next five for Memphis. The Grizzlies went 19-22 away from FedEx Forum last season.