Pistons' Hamilton Makes History in Loss
Friday, January 7th 2005, 6:52 am
By: News On 6
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) _ Richard Hamilton is considered to be one of the best mid-range shooters in the NBA. But the Detroit Pistons shooting guard's misfiring on Thursday night earned him recognition like no other. Hamilton became the first player in NBA history to lead his team in scoring without making a field goal, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
He went 0-for-10 from the floor but still paced Detroit with 14 points in the Pistons' 101-79 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies.
``It was just one of those nights,'' said Hamilton, who made all 14 of his free throws.
Bonzi Wells spoiled the strange night for Hamilton of the Pistons as he scored 23 points to lead Memphis to victory.
Hamilton, Detroit's leading scorer, wasn't the only Pistons player to struggle against the surging Grizzlies. Memphis held the defending NBA champions to 31.3 percent shooting, forced 23 turnovers and blocked 15 shots.
``Defensively, we were very active,'' Grizzlies coach Mike Fratello said.
The Pistons were very lethargic, drawing the ire of their coach _ again.
``I never thought I would have to coach effort,'' Larry Brown said. ``I've never had to do that in my entire life, and this is the last group that I expected to have to do it with.
``Maybe a game like this will make us recognize how bad it is.''
In other NBA games, it was Washington 107, Seattle 96; and San Antonio 111, Indiana 98.
Though the Pistons (17-14) have played uninspired basketball for much of the season, they had won five of six and are only one game off last season's pace.
``This is definitely not a finished product and I'm glad it's not because this is not the time for that,'' Chauncey Billups said.
Memphis (17-17) reached .500 for the first time this season by extending their season-high winning streak to five games. The Grizzlies were 5-11 when they hired Fratello on Dec. 2 to replace the retired Hubie Brown.
``It's big to be .500, especially with a win in Detroit,'' said Mike Miller, who scored 17. ``Now we can start making progress toward where we want to be by the end of the season.''
The Pistons won it all last season with hustle, tough defense, unselfish play and balanced scoring.
Memphis used that formula to hand them their most lopsided loss since a 32-point defeat at San Antonio two years ago.
Detroit trailed by just nine at halftime before Memphis led by 22 points in the third quarter and coasted in the fourth.
``They've got a championship, so I guess they can take a night off,'' Wells said. ``We don't have a championship, so we're hungry. We were just more aggressive.''
The Grizzlies had 32 assists, many due to fantastic ball movement, and seven players scored at least eight points.
Pau Gasol had just 12 after averaging 24 in the previous four games, but his teammates picked up the slack.
Shane Battier had 12, reserve Stromile Swift scored 11 and Lorenzen Wright added 10. Jason Williams had 11 assists and only one turnover.
``We don't have a dominant superstar, much like Detroit, so no one feels the pressure to carry the team,'' Battier said.
When the Grizzlies weren't getting easy dunks, they were making wide-open shots. They made 12 of 21 3-pointers.
``There's no question that we were in one of those zones from the 3-point line,'' Fratello said. ``Guys were teeing them up and knocking them down.''
Wizards 107, SuperSonics 96
At Washington, the Wizards made the most of their first national TV appearance in 20 months.
Gilbert Arenas scored 27 points and Larry Hughes had 21 to lead six players in double figures as the Wizards improved to 5-5 against Western Conference teams.
The Wizards, winning their third straight to start a five-game homestand, took advantage of a tired Seattle team that often appeared to have its mind on the trip home after a nine-day, five-game East Coast road trip. The Sonics lost by 18 at Orlando on Tuesday and finished the trip 3-2.
Rashard Lewis had 35 points and 11 rebounds for Seattle.
Spurs 111, Pacers 98
At San Antonio, Tim Duncan scored 27 points and Tony Parker had 26, leading San Antonio past Indiana.
Manu Ginobili added 18 points, and Duncan grabbed 12 rebounds for San Antonio, which improved to 8-0 at home against Eastern Conference teams and 16-1 overall at the SBC Center. The Spurs earned their seventh double-digit victory in eight games.
Jermaine O'Neal had 32 points and nine rebounds for the Pacers, and Jamaal Tinsley finished with 18 points and eight assists.