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>>caption: BIG BEN (#6) DOUBLE-
DOUBLED FOR DETROIT<<
@ PALACE OF AUBURN HILLS:
The Pistons juggled their starting
lineup and scored a Sunday matinee
94-88 win over Atlanta to end their
seven game losing streak.
Austin Daye and Charlie Villanueva
were downgraded to reserve roles with
Chucky Atkins and Jason Maxiell both
promoted to starting spots.
Maxiell helped Jonas Jarebko and Ben
Wallace attack the offensive glass,
giving Detroit 30 second chance points,
to compensate for the injury absences
of Rip Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince and Ben Gordon.
Even with all the injuries, Detroit coach John Kuester used a shortened bench
Sunday. While sixth man Will Bynum played 29-mins, Villanueva, Kwame Brown
and Daye played only 19, 16 and 11-mins respectively. Chris Wilcox and DaJuan
Summers never even got onto the floor.
Part of Villaniueva's reduced PT was due to a 4th-Qtr injury. Villanueva was hit
in the face by Atlanta's Zaza Pachulia with 9:30 to play. Villanueva had gauze stuffed
up his nose to halt the flow of blood, made a pair of free throws, then went to the
locker room with a broken nose.
Detroit had a 30-10 advantage in second chance points (17 in the 1st-H) and
a 60-38 margin in paint points due to a tougher inside presence.
Big Ben had a game-high and his season-high of 18 rebounds, 11 on the
offensive side. Rookie Jarebko pulled down a new career-high 11-RB. Wallace
and Jarebko each scored 10-P to earn both their first double-double of the season.
Maxiell had a solid 7-P with 6-RB.
Rodney Stuckey had game-highs of 23-P & 8-A for Detroit while playing more
of a shooting guard rather than point guard role with Atkins helping out. Bynum
added 19-P. Villanueva's 13-P gave the Pistions five players scoring in double figures.
Atlanta's Josh Smith was 11-of-15 from the field to match Stuckey with a co-game-
high of 23-P. Former Michigan Wolverine Jamal Crawford added 20-P for the Hawks.
Mike Bibby had 13-P with Al Hordord and Joe Johnson both getting 10-P and Horford
also grabbing a team-high 10-RB.
After holding a 55-47 halftime advantage the Pistons went ahead by 11-P in the
3rd-Qtr. The Hawks fought back to tie at 67 with the first basket of the 4th-Qtr,
but Detroit responded with a 10-0 run. The closest Atlanta came after that was 90-88
off a Bibby 3-pointer in the last half minute.
Detroit is now 6-11 and Atlanta 12-5.
PISTONS H-COACH JOHN KUESTER: "Ben was phenomenal again today. It's amazing
the level that he is still grabbing rebounds...Jonas has been a pleasant surprise for us
this year, and Max did a great job for us today. Charlie provides a lot of offense, and
we thought he could give us a spark off the bench...We talk about the leadership that
we get from Ben, Tayshaun and Rip, but we need to add Chucky to that discussion. He's
been huge for our young guards. He's going to be a coach in this league, and he's doing
a lot of that for us."
PISTONS GD WILL BYNUM: "We know we can beat any team -- it is up to us to come
out and do the things that give us a chance to be in the game at the end. We've been
struggling to close games out, but today we did a good job with that."
HAWKS H-COACH MIKE WOODSON: "When you get beat like that on the boards, you
aren't going to beat many teams in this league. We just didn't compete today..we got
outworked and I'm embarrassed."
HAWKS FWD JOSH SMITH: "Ben Wallace just outworked us today. It was a lack of effort
on our part. We have to know that Ben is going to do that. It's kind of discouraging,
because we had all our guys, and we knew how many key guys they had out, and we were
not able to get the win."
Veteran guard Atkins hadn't started an NBA game since 2007 and had his last
start for the Pistons almost seven years ago on 11/30/2002. Atkins had played only
22-mins all season prior to Sunday, getting into but four of Detroit's first 16 games.
Atkins showed the rust, getting just 2-P on 1-of-7 shooting with one assist in 19-mins.
Rookie Daye (2-P & 4-RB) was back in a reserve role after a one game starting
experiment Friday vs the LA Clippers.
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