Spurs outlast Wallace, Pistons 99-95

Associated Press  |  Last updated February 14, 2012
Tim Duncan had 18 points and 13 rebounds, and the San Antonio Spurs overcame a spirited Detroit rally to beat the Pistons 99-95 on Tuesday night for their eighth consecutive victory. Detroit trailed by 15 in the fourth quarter but came back to take the lead behind Ben Wallace, the veteran big man who set a record by appearing in his 1,055th career game - the most for an undrafted player since the NBA-ABA merger. The Spurs took the lead for good on Tony Parker's driving layup with 1:13 remaining. Parker also made a floater with 27.2 seconds to play to give San Antonio a 95-92 lead, and Ben Gordon couldn't convert from the left corner for the Pistons. What at first looked like a mismatch between the streaking Spurs and rebuilding Pistons eventually turned into an enthralling contest more reminiscent of the 2005 finals matchup between the teams. San Antonio led 79-64 in the fourth before Detroit went on a 14-0 run that included the seventh 3-pointer of Wallace's career. Meanwhile, on the other end of the court, Wallace took the responsibility of trying to stop Duncan. With the Spurs up by one, Wallace stopped Duncan inside and then caught the San Antonio star in the head with an elbow. While Duncan was still on the ground, Detroit's Brandon Knight scored while being fouled at the other end to give the Pistons the lead with 5:28 remaining. Duncan stayed in the game, and less than a minute later it was Detroit's Rodney Stuckey sprawled on the floor after he appeared to be hit in the head by the knee of San Antonio's Manu Ginobili. The Spurs began fouling Wallace intentionally, and he finished 4 of 8 from the free throw line, including two airballs. He tied the game at 91 with a free throw with 2:06 remaining, but Parker put San Antonio ahead with his drive. With the Pistons down three, Gordon missed on the perimeter with Duncan contesting, and the Detroit guard was then called for a technical foul with 21 seconds remaining. Duncan got the better of Greg Monroe, Detroit's young big man. Monroe was held to only four points on 2-of-11 shooting. At the end, it was Wallace handling the heavy lifting inside at both ends of the court. Wallace finished with nine points and five rebounds. Stuckey led the Pistons with 23 points. San Antonio had seven players in double figures. Parker scored 14 points, and Richard Jefferson and Tiago Splitter had 13 each. NOTES: It was the fourth game of a nine-game road trip for the Spurs. ... The Pistons have lost two straight after a four-game winning streak.
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