Red tape forces Wallace out at halftime in Detroit debut
Auburn Hills, MI (Sports Network) – Kevin Garnett tallied game highs with 25
points and 13 rebounds to lead Minnesota over Detroit, 88-87, at The Palace of
Sam Cassell added 16 points and six assists for the Timberwolves, who won
their fifth straight game and second in as many nights.
Richard Hamilton netted 24 points and handed out six helpers for the Pistons,
who took the court with newly acquired Rasheed Wallace and Mike James. But due
to a bureaucratic mix up, the duo sat out the second half.
Detroit coach Larry Brown was notified at the intermission that all the paper
work was not complete between the three teams involved in the trade that
brought Wallace and James to the Pistons.
On Thursday, which was the NBA trade deadline, the Atlanta Hawks traded
Wallace to the Pistons as part of a three-team deal that also included the
Detroit got James from the Celtics, and Atlanta acquired forward Chris Mills
from Boston and center Zeljko Rebraca and guard Bob Sura from Detroit. The
Hawks obtained the rights to Milwaukee’s 2004 first-round draft choice, which
Detroit previously acquired from Denver.
The Celtics got guards Chucky Atkins and Lindsey Hunter, both of whom were
with the Pistons, Detroit’s 2004 first-round selection and cash
Chauncey Billups finished with 20 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists en route
to the first triple-double for Detroit since Ben Wallace’s in November 2002.
The Pistons trailed by as many as 12, but Richard Hamilton cut the deficit to
86-85 on a layup with just 15.3 seconds to play.
Detroit was then forced to foul and Cassell made two from the stripe to extend
the Minnesota margin back to three.
Tayshaun Prince fired up a three-pointer that was short, but Wallace collected
the rebound and scored the field goal from close range for the final points of
the game with 1.3 seconds remaining.
Latrell Sprewell was then fouled right away, but missed both foul shots to
still give the Pistons a shot to win.
But they threw a pass over half-court and never got a shot off.
Detroit won the battle on the glass, 51-37, but only shot 43 percent from the
field and only caused 10 turnovers, while committing 16.
Wallace scored four points in 12 minutes in his shortened Detroit debut, while
James was scoreless in five minutes.