tampabay.com

Pistons unleash stars

By wire services
Published February 11, 2006


ORLANDO - The Orlando Magic could have used a few All-Stars of their own Friday night. Instead, they were all playing for the other team.

Rasheed Wallace scored 26 and Richard Hamilton added 23 as the Detroit Pistons cruised to an 84-73 victory.

Chauncey Billups had 11 points and 14 assists, while Ben Wallace contributed 10 rebounds for the Pistons. A night earlier, those players made Detroit the first team with four All-Stars since the Lakers in 1998.

Dwight Howard led Orlando with 19 points and 17 rebounds. Hedo Turkoglu added 17 points.

Detroit pulled away with a 14-2 third-quarter run fueled by several jumpers by Rasheed Wallace and some Orlando mistakes. After turning the ball over seven times in the first half, the Magic gave it away eight times in the third quarter.

"When you're playing a good team like that, you've got to take care of the basketball," Magic guard Keyon Dooling said.

Orlando didn't score for the first 5 minutes, 14 seconds of the fourth quarter, when Dooling hit a 10-foot jumper. By then the Magic were down 72-56 and wouldn't recover, though Steve Francis' layup with 1:04 remaining brought them within 10.

"We came out and moved the ball around, forced them to go to their second and third option - not allow them to walk down and catch the ball where they want to catch it at," Ben Wallace said.

Detroit has lost only eight times this season, twice in the past six days. The league-leading Pistons, off to the best start in franchise history, head to Miami on Sunday for the second half of a two-game Florida swing.

Orlando, still without forward Grant Hill and guard Jameer Nelson, has lost seven of eight.

"They got a lot of weapons in the offense and they hit a lot of shots - tough shots in the second half," Howard said.

WIZARDS 101, CAVALIERS 89: Gilbert Arenas, still feeling snubbed despite his day-late All-Star selection, turned his frustration into 32 points and outshone All-Star starter LeBron James in host Washington's win.

Arenas also had 10 assists, eight rebounds and a career-high three blocked shots. Antawn Jamison added 28 points as the Wizards won their fourth straight.

James had an off night, scoring 18 points on 6-for-23 shooting, although he also had nine rebounds and eight assists.

RAPTORS 88, BOBCATS 73: Charlie Villanueva scored 24 and All-Star Chris Bosh added 16 points and 10 rebounds as visiting Toronto beat undermanned Charlotte.

Matt Carroll scored a career-high 26 points for Charlotte, which shot a franchise-worst 31.8 percent. The Bobcats played without four starters, including their starting backcourt of Brevin Knight and Raymond Felton, and had their franchise-record three-game winning streak snapped.

CELTICS 115, TRAIL BLAZERS 83: Paul Pierce scored 20 of his 35 in the third quarter as host Boston snapped a season-high, six-game losing streak.

Boston won for the second time in eight games since acquiring Wally Szczerbiak from Minnesota in a seven-player trade on Jan. 26. Szczerbiak scored 21 points and Raef LaFrentz had 18 for the Celtics.

JAZZ 94, TIMBERWOLVES 80: Reserve Matt Harpring scored 25 and grabbed eight rebounds, leading visiting Utah past lethargic Minnesota.

Andrei Kirilenko had 19 points and Mehmet Okur added 19 points and 10 rebounds, helping the Jazz win for the fourth time in five games.

PACERS 107, WARRIORS 95: Stephen Jackson scored 30 as host Indiana won its fourth straight.

Peja Stojakovic had 23 points and eight rebounds, and Anthony Johnson had 23 points and six assists for Indiana.

HORNETS 111, KNICKS 100: Speedy Claxton scored 18 and added 11 assists in place of injured point guard Chris Paul (bruised rubs), and David West added 21 points and 10 rebounds as New Orleans beat New York in Oklahoma City, Okla.

The loss was New York's eighth straight.

SPURS 83, NETS 73: Manu Ginobili scored 22, Tim Duncan returned after missing a game with flu-like symptoms to add 12, and visiting San Antonio pulled away in the fourth to snap New Jersey's 12-game home winning streak.

Tony Parker scored 19 points for the Spurs, who have won a season-high eight in a row and 12 of their last 13 games.

SUNS 112, KINGS 104: Steve Nash scored 24, including a key basket and a pair of late free throws, helping host Phoenix withstand a furious fourth-quarter Sacramento comeback.

Ron Artest scored 10 of his 28 points in the fourth as the Kings nearly rallied from a 93-76 deficit.

KNICKS: Coach Larry Brown said he expects to be without point guard Stephon Marbury until after the All-Star break. Marbury missed his fifth straight game against New Orleans with a bruised left shoulder. He also missed three others in January.

SIXERS: Center Steven Hunter returned to practice with Philadelphia, which tried to trade him nine days ago. The New Orleans Hornets, who agreed to give up two second-round picks for Hunter, rescinded the trade Thursday because of medical concerns.