Pistons Dominate Grizzlies Late

By: AP
By: AP

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) -- Arron Afflalo had the best night of his short NBA career on Friday.
He paid for it after the game.
The Detroit Pistons rookie had a career-best 12 points in a 94-67 win over Memphis, then had to deal with heckling teammates as the media gathered around his locker.
"Can we wait until he leaves?" asked an embarrassed Afflalo, as Rasheed Wallace screamed teasing insults.
While Wallace settled in to listen and other veterans buried Afflalo in a rain of towels, he tried to focus on the media.
"That was a lot of fun," he said. "I feel like I'm learning more every game."
On a team that sells itself with hard work, Afflalo's effort has been getting noticed.
"Arron has one great talent, and that's how hard he plays," Detroit coach Flip Saunders said. "When you do that, good things happen.
He's not flashy, but rookies on veteran teams aren't supposed to be flashy. He was great today."
Afflalo's performance stole some of the attention from Detroit's more-heralded rookie, Rodney Stuckey, who made his NBA debut in the fourth quarter. Stuckey, the 15th pick in June's draft, missed the first 25 games with a broken hand.
"It was good to get a couple minutes under my belt," Stuckey said. "I need some practice, though. I've got to get my wind back."
The Pistons, who have won four straight and 11 of 13, got double-figure scoring from five players while holding Memphis to 33.8 percent shooting. Detroit also had a 23-8 edge in turnovers two days after becoming the first road team this season to win in Boston.
"We didn't have a lot of energy out there, and it got away from us," Memphis coach Marc Iavaroni said. "Obviously, it wasn't a pretty game. They were coming off a big win, and we wanted to come in and see what we could do."
Rudy Gay led the Grizzlies with 18 points, but added to Memphis' offensive problems by missing a pair of wide-open dunks. Pau Gasol returned to the Memphis lineup after missing four games with a toe injury. He finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds in 31 minutes, but went 4-for-14 from the floor.
The Pistons struggled offensively in the first half, shooting just 40.5 percent, but Memphis still trailed 42-38 after committing 10 turnovers.
"We should have been up at the half," Gasol said. "In the second half, they really took control of the game."
Wallace's 3-pointer early in the third kicked off an 8-2 run that gave the Pistons a 52-45 lead, and they expanded the margin to 68-54 at quarter's end.
The Grizzlies had seven turnovers in the third and six field goals. Gay didn't help when he missed his second dunk, then was called for offensive goaltending while trying to hang on the rim and catch the bounce.
Detroit pulled away in the fourth while both teams emptied their benches.
Notes: Former Pistons center Darko Milicic had as many turnovers in the first half (four) as the entire Detroit roster. ... Tigers pitcher Dontrelle Willis attended the game, one day after agreeing to a 3-year contract extension with Detroit. ... Memphis F Mike Miller left the game briefly in the second quarter after banging knees with Wallace. ... Detroit has won six straight over Memphis and 12 of 14. ... Stuckey scored on his first possession, putting back his own miss, and finished with two points and two assists in seven minutes.


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