Pistons 92, Grizzlies 89
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP)—Chauncey Billups had 19 points and nine assists, and Tayshaun Prince scored 17 points, including a key 3-pointer with 1:17 left, to lead the Detroit Pistons to a 92-89 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday night.
The game was close throughout, with Detroit holding the only double-digit lead—10 points—in the first half. The score was tied at the half and still close after three periods.
Memphis led with 5 minutes left, although it was never more than six points ahead in the fourth.
A 3-pointer from Prince pulled Detroit even, and after McDyess blocked Gasol, Hamilton scored on the ensuing break, giving the Pistons an 84-82 lead. That was part of an 8-0 run that gave the Pistons a lead they never relinquished.
Memphis had a chance in the final seconds, but Gay’s 3-point attempt with 4 seconds left was way off the mark. The scramble led to a jump ball between Warrick and Webber. Warrick tapped it to Miller, who missed a last-second shot, but it was only a 2-pointer and would not have helped Memphis.
The Pistons, who have the best record in the East, were coming off a Friday night loss at Miami. They have won 12 of their last 14.
Memphis, which has the league’s worst record, lost its fourth straight, and has dropped seven of eight.
The teams were tied at 49 at the half. Miller had 14 for Memphis and Gasol added 12, while Hamilton had 10 for Detroit.
The Pistons shot 60 percent through the early stages, with Billups and Hamilton connecting on six of their first eight shots, but Memphis stayed close.
Detroit’s defense pushed Memphis out of its comfort zone and challenged most shots, particularly from Miller on the perimeter, forcing him to drive the basket, rather than shooting outside the arc.
Detroit would build the advantage to double digits only once in the first half, but the Grizzlies used a late run to retake the lead on Miller’s three-point play.
Memphis managed to put enough offense together as both teams struggled in the third period, and Gay’s 17-footer at the end of the quarter gave the Grizzlies a 68-65 lead heading into the fourth. The Pistons managed only 16 points in the quarter, going 6-of-17, but that was better than Memphis, which connected on 8-of-24 in the quarter.
The Grizzlies, who lost Friday night in Philadelphia, are now 0-18 in the second game of back-to-backs. … Gasol’s 22 points left him nine short of surpassing Shareef Abdur-Rahim as the Grizzlies’ career scoring leader. … Pistons F Rasheed Wallace missed his second straight game with a sore left foot. Jason Maxiell started his third game of the season in place of Wallace. … The Pistons have won four straight games in the series. The last seven meetings in Memphis were decided by 10 points or fewer. … Gasol recorded his 20th double-double of the season.