4 January 2007
Payback from the Pistons
You have to figure that when Rip Hamilton gets 17 points in the first quarter, the Pistons are going to dominate especially since the Hornets managed only 19 in aggregate. And then it got worse: the Bees, unable to buy a bucket, scored a meager 13 points in the second quarter, shooting an appalling 31.8 percent in the first half.
But in the third, weirdly, it was Detroit who suffered the Third-Quarter Drought, picking up only 14, and their 26-point lead dwindled to 18; it dropped to 14 early in the fourth before the Pistons started hitting on, you should pardon the expression, all cylinders, and dispatched the reeling Hornets, 92-68.
Bobby Jackson, recovering from a cracked rib and sporting a flak jacket worthy of the L.A.P.D., reported for duty, played five and a half minutes, scored 7, and then was spirited back to the locker room: apparently he hasn't recovered quite enough just yet. And Rasual Butler, after scoring three in half an hour, retired with "flu-like symptoms." Jannero Pargo scored 16 to lead the Bees, but he had to put up 24 shots to get it; the team hit only 29 of 88 from the floor, 30 percent. Tyson Chandler, meanwhile, pulled down 16 rebounds.
Oh, and Rip Hamilton? Despite exiting early with five fouls, he got 27 points. Tayshaun Prince had the night's only double-double: 15 points, 10 boards.
The Pacers are supposed to be here Saturday. Maybe they can phone it in and save the airfare.