AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP)—Randy Foye got the message.
After two days of listening to his coaches and teammates urge him to play with more intensity, the Minnesota Timberwolves guard did just that on Sunday.
Foye had 23 points and a career-high 14 assists, and the Timberwolves beat the Detroit Pistons 106-80 for their first road victory of the season.
“Tonight showed what kind of player Randy can be,” Minnesota coach Randy Wittman said. “We’ve been talking to him for the last two days, telling him that he needed to be more aggressive.”
Foye attacked the basket and the slumping Timberwolves came alive.
“Everything seemed simple tonight,” he said. “Coach told me to go for it, and there was a lot of energy out there.”
Minnesota came into the game with a 2-9 record, including 0-5 on the road, and had just lost 95-78 to Boston on Thursday.
“We weren’t happy with the way we lost to Boston, and we knew we were playing a similar team tonight,” said Ryan Gomes, who scored 20 points. “Tonight, we did the job.”
The Timberwolves dominated the lethargic Pistons, who have lost three of four. Detroit fell to 4-5 since Allen Iverson joined the team on Nov. 7.
“I stunk up the gym tonight,” said Iverson, who scored nine points on 3-of-11 shooting. “I couldn’t do anything right on the offensive end. It was one of the nights you wish you never have, but they happen.
“It will be tough to sleep tonight.”
“My top three guards were 5-for-27, but they’ve played enough basketball that they know they can’t get frustrated,” Detroit coach Michael Curry said. “Add in Rasheed Wallace, and it is 8-for-37. You aren’t going to win many games like that.”
The Timberwolves took control with first-half defense, holding Detroit to just 28 percent shooting while building a 44-34 lead. Gomes had 13 points and six rebounds in the half.
Minnesota threatened to pull away early in the third, leading by as many as 15, but Prince kept the Pistons in the game by scoring 10 points in the first seven minutes of the half.
Prince, though, didn’t get any help as the Timberwolves turned the game into a blowout. Minnesota led 76-52 at quarter’s end, and cruised to the lopsided win.
It was a far cry from the Celtics game, when Minnesota only scored 10 points in the third.
“This is a funny game some times—two similar teams and two different results,” Wittman said. “This is the one that brings a smile to my face, though.”
It was a rough weekend for Detroit sports fans, as Michigan, Michigan State, the Lions and Pistons lost their games by a combined score of 235-125. … Foye’s previous career high in assists was 10 against Philadelphia on Jan. 5, 2007. … The Pistons are 0-3 on Sundays this season, having lost the games by an average of 18.7 points. They are 8-2 on the other six days of the week.