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News » Sheed leads Pistons

Sheed leads Pistons

Sheed leads Pistons
MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota center Al Jefferson scorched Rasheed Wallace early on, scoring on an array of jump hooks, layups and mid-range jumpers.

Wallace did what he often has done against the NBA's top big men when they light him up: He got on a roll of his own.

Wallace's timing could not have been better, as he scored seven of his game-high 25 points in the fourth quarter to help Detroit rally for a 98-89 win against Minnesota.

"Tonight, Al brought that out of Sheed," Pistons forward Antonio McDyess said. "He (Wallace) stepped up his game when he watches a guy like Al getting plays and score on him. That's a challenge for Sheed. He just takes his game to another level."

Wallace got it done down the stretch at both ends of the floor. In addition to his fourth-quarter scoring spurt, Wallace played a major role in limiting Jefferson to two points in the fourth on 1-for-6 shooting.

"Al got off in the first couple quarters," said Wallace, who also grabbed 10 rebounds for his 11th double-double this season. "But we just pretty much had to lock down on Al. It was a team effort. It was nothing that I did by myself."

In addition to making Jefferson a non-factor in the fourth, the Pistons collectively held the Timberwolves to just 6-for-18 from the floor, their worst shooting quarter of the night.

"I just think our guys locked into what they were doing," Pistons coach Michael Curry said. "As we got into them more ... we got the guys off of their spots. To play this team and not double Al Jefferson, that's tough.

I haven't seen too many teams do that. It's a tribute to our defense."

Detroit (25-19) snapped a two-game losing streak and avenged a 26-point loss to Minnesota -- the team's worst this season -- at The Palace of Auburn Hills on Nov. 23.

Detroit's strong finish took center stage from a game that, for most of the night, looked a lot like previous defeats.

After a fast start by the Pistons, the Timberwolves went on a 12-2 run to take their first lead, 18-16. Detroit continued to battle, but the Timberwolves maintained a slim 24-22 lead after the first quarter.

Minnesota led throughout most of the second, but the Pistons took a brief 41-40 lead after a three-point play by Rodney Stuckey. The Timberwolves managed to take a 52-50 lead into the half.

The Pistons fell behind by 11 points in the third quarter, only to close out the third with a 13-3 run that cut Minnesota's lead to 72-71 going into the fourth quarter.

Detroit's surge to end the quarter did not catch the Timberwolves completely by surprise.

"I felt pretty good," Minnesota guard Randy Foye said. "But you knew they were going to make a run. They're a veteran team. I thought we were going to go right back at them, but they went back into Rasheed and they turned it up a little bit."

It was a much-needed victory for a team that had lost seven of its previous nine games.

"We really needed it," Wallace said. "I think we needed it more than them. They were pretty hot here in the month of January. We just wanted it a little bit more to get off this damn slide we're on."

Hamilton hurting

The groin injury that forced Richard Hamilton to miss eight games earlier this season once again is a problem.

Hamilton said he reaggravated the injury shortly after he checked into Wednesday's game against Minnesota.

Following the game, he said the groin was sore and he wasn't sure if he would be able to play Friday.

"I hope I'll be able to play," he said. "We'll see."

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: January 30, 2009


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