Grizzlies 72, Pistons 68

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP)—Shane Battier seized an opportunity to redeem himself for a poor shooting performance.

Battier hit four free throws in the final 20 seconds, and Pau Gasol scored 20 points to lead the Memphis Grizzlies to a 72-68 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Saturday night.

Battier, who shot 1-for-6 from the field, broke a 68-all tie with two free throws with 19.4 seconds left and added two more from the line with 12 seconds remaining to complete the scoring.

“I shot so poorly from the perimeter in the game, I said: ‘I can’t miss these and compound that,”’ Battier said. “You get to the line, go through your routine, and it’s just like shooting in the practice gym.”

Detroit’s Rasheed Wallace missed a pair of 3-pointers and had another shot blocked by Gasol in the final seconds.

It was the second straight loss for the Pistons, who had won six straight over the Grizzlies. Memphis has won three of its last four.

The Pistons scored 10 straight points at the start of the fourth quarter to erase a five-point deficit. Wallace had eight points in the stretch, and punctuated the run with a second 3-pointer for a 63-58 lead with just under 9 minutes to play.

But the Pistons went 6:41 without scoring, and Memphis went on a 10-0 run to take a 68-63 lead.

“We had a two-on-one late when we were down two and got nothing out of it,” Detroit coach Larry Brown said. “We secured a rebound with the score tied and then got a loose ball foul. When you aren’t shooting well, you can’t make mistakes.”

Earl Watson added 11 points for Memphis. Gasol also had eight rebounds.

Gasol, who was 9-of-17 from the field, worked hard on the inside against the physical Pistons front line—a change from the past when he was likely to settle for a 12-footer rather than drive.

“You’ve got to try and get in the paint and not settle and not be scared of contact,” Gasol said of his change in offensive approach. “That’s what they want you to do. They want you to settle. They want you to take bad outside shots.”

Wallace had 22 points for the Pistons, and Richard Hamilton scored 18.

There were 10 lead changes and 10 ties in the game. It was a season-low in points for both teams.

“How many games did we win last season scoring under 70 points?” Pistons forward Tayshaun Prince said. “This was a typical game for us to score under 70 points. We just have to make the plays we need to win.”

Neither team shot well in the first half, leading to a 36-35 Detroit advantage at the break. The problem was not just poor shooting, but missed layups and unsuccessful putbacks on offensive rebounds.

The Pistons shot 40 percent from the field in the half, only slightly better than Memphis’ 39 percent. Memphis had 11 turnovers and Detroit had 10. Both teams finished with 17 turnovers.


Rasheed Wallace broke free for a dunk in the third and threw it down with such authority, it bounced off his head as it went through the net and came back out. Officials called offensive basket interference, negating the basket. … Antonio McDyess, the Pistons’ leading scorer and rebounder off the bench, missed his fifth consecutive game with a left calf strain. The Pistons had only four points off the bench Saturday night. … The game was part of a day-night doubleheader at the FedExForum. Mississippi beat Memphis 65-53 in the opener. …It marked the Grizzlies’ first win over the Pistons since moving to Memphis for the 2001-02 season. …Ben Wallace tied his season high with six blocks. … Pistons F Ronald Dupree, activated before the game, saw his first action of the season with 1 point in 14 minutes. Detroit placed Carlos Delfino on the injured list with a right knee injury.

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Top Performers

 Top Performers
R. Wallace R. Wallace
8-20,  22 Pts
10 Rebs, 1 Assists
P. Gasol P. Gasol
9-17,  20 Pts
8 Rebs, 4 Assists

Team Stat Leaders