Pistons beat Spurs in OT, 109-101

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Ted Kulfan
The Detroit News

Auburn Hills — The Pistons blew another lead Sunday. No news, there.

But here’s something different: They composed themselves and took a well-earned victory.

They needed overtime, but the Pistons defeated the San Antonio Spurs Sunday 109-101 at The Palace.

“We could have hung our heads; a number of things didn’t go the way we wanted,” coach John Kuester said. “But we showed poise and character.

“I was very pleased with our effort. Very easily the game could have slipped away but we were focused.”

Rodney Stuckey made a 3-pointer, then a key jumper with 1:28 left in overtime, keying a gritty victory.

“He made two or three great shots that were important down the stretch,” Kuester said. “Those shots were important because they weren’t easy shots. He had to size people up and elevate and knock them down.”

The Spurs rallied from an 11-point deficit with less than four minutes left to force overtime.

Using the hack-Ben Wallace approach, the Spurs got back into the game as Wallace converted only four of 10 free throws in the fourth quarter.

“It’s garbage,” said Wallace of the Spurs’ strategy.

“I’ll be keeping him in. I have confidence in him,” Kuester said. “He went to the line and a couple of those (shots) went in-and-out, but Ben Wallace will be in those situations if he’s been playing the way he’s been playing.”

San Antonio’s Manu Ginobili scored the Spurs’ last 11 points, including a layup which tied it 93-93 with 27.5 seconds remaining.

Ben Gordon and Tayshaun Prince had shots in the waning seconds of regulation, but neither converted, forcing overtime.

Richard Hamilton scored 27 points, Gordon 21 and Stuckey 20 for the Pistons (20-35).

“We almost gave the game away making stupid mistakes,” Stuckey said. “But we stayed aggressive and that’s my game. That’s when I’m at my best, being aggressive.”

Tim Duncan had 29 points and Ginobili 21 for the Spurs (31-23), who were concluding an eight-game road trip.

“It was a good game, and like many NBA games down the stretch you need to make shots, and Detroit did,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “They (the Spurs) busted their butts and did everything they could to try and win a basketball game. But in the end it comes down to making shots down the stretch.”

Last Updated: February 22. 2010 1:12AM