SAN ANTONIO (AP)—Rasheed Wallace showed he knows how to use a technical foul call as motivation.
Wallace made three 3-pointers in the fourth quarter and scored 17 points in the final 15 minutes after picking up a technical, and the Detroit Pistons rallied from 10 points down to beat San Antonio 89-77 on Tuesday night despite the return of Manu Ginobili to the Spurs’ starting lineup.
“After the tech, he kind of took matters in his own hands, started being a lot more aggressive,” Allen Iverson said. “It paid dividends for us.”
But scoring wasn’t the first thing on Wallace’s mind in the second half. He was more concerned with how the game was being officiated—tipping toward the Spurs, he thought.
“I knew what it was going to be out there, and I didn’t want our team to fall into that,” Wallace said. “We knew how it was going to be, especially going against the league darlings.”
Rodney Stuckey came off the bench to score 10 points and had seven assists.
The Spurs (9-8) have dropped two straight after winning four in a row. They were led by Tim Duncan, who had 23 points, but just one point in the fourth quarter.
He wasn’t the only one to have a letdown in the fourth quarter. San Antonio went 5-of-15 from the floor, and the Pistons converted the Spurs’ six turnovers into 10 points.
“The most disturbing thing is that we were very soft,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “I think Detroit intimidated us. It was really sad to watch in that respect. I thought we totally folded to their aggressive play.”
Ginobili scored 13 in his first start of the season after missing the first 12 games because of offseason ankle surgery. But he was 4-of-11 from the floor— 1-of-4 in the fourth quarter.
“Ginobili is tough to guard,” Pistons coach Michael Curry said. “We played him tough and gave ourselves a chance to win.”
The Pistons, who trailed by 10 twice in the third quarter, finally pulled ahead when Wallace hit a 3-pointer almost four minutes into the fourth quarter. Wallace hit two more 3s in the fourth quarter as Detroit outscored the Spurs 28-14.
“We should have played that hard from the gate,” Wallace said. “We wouldn’t have been in that deficit. We’re a resilient young team. Guys knuckled up in that second half.”
Iverson trimmed the Spurs’ 50-40 lead early in the third quarter down to 52-50 on a layup with 7:18 remaining in the period.
But San Antonio scored eight straight, capped by Bruce Bowen’s 3-pointer with 3:14 left in the third, to go ahead 60-50 with 3:14 left in the third quarter.
Iverson’s 3-pointer cut the Spurs’ lead to one point, but Ginobili quickly hit his own 3-pointer. San Antonio clung to a 63-61 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
After starting the game 4-of-5 for a two-point lead, the Pistons went 1-of-7 during the next 5:22 and the Spurs held their largest lead of the first quarter at 16-10.
Iverson, who played the entire opening quarter for seven points on 3-of-5 shooting, got Detroit back on track with a 3-pointer to cut San Antonio’s lead to 16-13 with 3:42 to go. But the Spurs led by five heading into the second quarter.
San Antonio led by as many as seven points in the second quarter before the Pistons scored 12 consecutive points during a stretch of 3:28. The run consisted of a pair of free throws and five straight layups. The last two were slam dunks by Jason Maxiell that gave Detroit a 31-26 lead with 7:10 left in the first half.
The Pistons shot 50 percent from the floor and were 6-of-11 from the 3-point line compared to the Spurs’ 6-of-24. San Antonio shot 39 percent from the floor.
Hamilton tied John Long (1978-91) for eighth place on the Pistons’ all-time scoring list. … Matt Bonner started his fourth game of the season for the Spurs on Tuesday, but it was his first since the fourth game of the season on Nov. 5. … The Pistons are 5-2 against the Spurs since losing the ’05 Finals in a seven-game series.