Wells scored 18 of his career-high 37 points in the third quarter as the Portland Trail Blazers extended the Pistons’ season-high losing streak to seven games with a 103-86 victory at the Rose Garden.
“I had some Bugatti’s pasta this afternoon,” Wells said. “Maybe Bugatti’s got me going. I don’t know. That’s the only thing I can think of.”
“Bonzi Wells is a great young player,” Pistons coach Rick Carlisle said. “Obviously when you go for a career high, that is significant. We did not have any answers for him and did not play particularly well ourselves. So it was not a good night for us.”
Detroit, which had not lost seven straight games since December 16-28, 2001, capped a winless five-game western swing and lost its sixth consecutive matchup with Portland.
“You are always concerned when you lose,” Carlisle said. “It doesn’t matter how many you lose in a row. Right now we are in a situation where we have to bounce back and go home. Just going back home doesn’t guarantee that you are going to win. So we have to re-gather ourselves and get ready for another tough game on Tuesday (against Houston).”
The Pistons trailed by just two points at the half before Wells took over, connecting on a variety of outside jumpers and powerful moves in the lane.
“He’s one of those guys who can score at will at times,” Blazers guard Derek Anderson said. “Sometimes he can have a rough night and still be available to you at the end of the game. He’s also mentally strong, especially when the game is on the line.”
After he nailed a 3-pointer to give the Trail Blazers a 78-58 lead with 27 seconds left in the third quarter, he playfully slapped the leg of Pistons assistant coach Tony Brown, who worked with Wells in Portland from 1998-2001.
Wells, who was drafted by the Pistons in 1998 but traded to the Blazers for a future first-round pick, was given a technical for taunting, but Chauncey Billups missed the free throw.
Wells shot 14-of-18 from the field and 7-of-8 from the line before exiting the contest for good midway through the fourth quarter.
“That’s the team that let me go, didn’t really give me a chance,” Wells said. “They just traded me basically for nothing. That kind of leaves a bad taste in your mouth, but I’m still happy I’m in the NBA, and whenever I get a chance to show them what they gave up on, I try to do it.”
Rasheed Wallace, who sat out Friday’s victory over the Los Angeles Clippers because of a sore left Achilles tendon, added 13 points for Portland, which led by as many as 27 points in the fourth quarter en route to its fourth straight victory.
“I think we ran one or two plays the whole game,” Portland coach Maurice Cheeks said. “(Wells) and Rasheed were involved in the play. We went from there. We really didn’t call any different plays. Bonzi had his hands on the ball a lot. Shooting 14-for-18, there wasn’t a lot they could do defensively. There were some crazy shots, but they were happening to go in, because he was in that mode.”
Paced by Wells, Portland shot 58 percent (40-of-69) and limited Detroit to 43 percent (32-of-74).
“That was a heck of a defensive game for us,” Cheeks said. “Detroit coming off a back-to-back probably was a little tired. Our defense was sensational. When we get Bonzi scoring the way he did, we just kind of fed him, stayed with him, and everybody played off of him, and that was pretty much the game.”
“We are all right,” Robinson said. “There is still a lot of basketball to be played. We have a situation where most of the games we have now are going to be at home, and if we can take advantage of that situation, we will be OK.”