Rasheed Wallace Banks in 60-Footer

Tuesday, March 27th 2007, 7:27 am
By: News On 6

Rasheed Wallace showed off some serious range and Shaquille O'Neal gave himself a new nickname. Wallace made the miracle shot of the night _ maybe of the year _ banking home a 60-footer as time expired to send the game to overtime, and the Detroit Pistons went on to beat the Denver Nuggets 113-109 on Monday night.

Wallace tried to claim that he called the bank shot, but was drowned out by the jeers of his teammates.

``OK, I'm lying about that,'' he said with a laugh. ``But I'll take it either way.''

The Nuggets appeared to have the game won as they prepared to inbound the ball at midcourt with a 98-95 lead and 1.5 seconds to play.

Marcus Camby's short pass, though, was tipped by Tayshaun Prince, and Wallace scooped it up and let fly with a two-handed set shot that banked in as the buzzer sounded.

``We shoot those all the time before the game,'' Wallace said. ``This one went in, but it isn't like it won a championship or anything.''

Nuggets coach George Karl knew his team had been beaten by a fluke.

``You could give him a hundred and he wouldn't make one, but he made one,'' he said. ``I personally would have liked the ball to be thrown more toward the rim or the corner, but you can't criticize a lucky shot. That was a lucky shot.''

Denver led 106-103 in overtime, but Wallace hit another tying 3-pointer, this one from a more conventional distance, to tie the game with a minute left.

In other games, it was, Miami 106, Atlanta 89; Boston 95, Toronto 87; Orlando 94, New York 89; Houston 106, Milwaukee 87; Chicago 100, Portland 89; Utah 103, Washington 97; Phoenix 105, Memphis 87; and San Antonio 126, Golden State 89.

At Miami, the Hawks played Hack-a-Shaq and never had a chance. Shaquille O'Neal scored 22 points, going 12-for-20 from the free-throw line.

After one particularly hard foul sent O'Neal tumbling, the 7-foot-1 center rolled into a backward somersault before bouncing to his feet.

``I'm known as The Big Baryshnikov,'' O'Neal said afterward, proud of his newest self-dubbed moniker.

Suffice to say, no ballet ever called for Mikhail Baryshnikov to take this kind of punishment.

O'Neal shook off double- and triple-teams _ and incessant hacking nearly every time he got position down low _ and still managed to pass Reggie Miller for 12th on the NBA's career scoring list.

O'Neal entered the night 10 points behind Miller's 25,279, and passed the former Indiana star with a free throw midway through the first half _ fitting considering the Hawks' strategy.

``It just shows how the other opponent quits,'' O'Neal said of the foul-often strategy. ``Can't stop him. Foul him.''

The win, combined with Washington's loss at Utah, put the Heat _ who were 7 1/2 games behind the Wizards on Jan. 30 _ alone in first place in the Southeast Division by a half-game, and vaulted the defending NBA champions from sixth to third in the Eastern Conference standings.

Suns 105, Grizzlies 87

At Phoenix, Raja Bell hit six 3-pointers and scored 29 points, Amare Stoudemire had 27 points and 12 rebounds for the Suns.

Phoenix is only one win away from matching last year's win total of 54.

Pau Gasol led the Grizzlies with 21 points and 10 rebounds.

Spurs 126, Warriors 89

At Oakland, Calif., Tony Parker had 20 points and nine assists, Michael Finley matched his season high with 20 points and San Antonio won the 17th time in 19 games.

Tim Duncan had 20 points and eight rebounds for the Spurs, who clinched their eighth straight 50-win season.

Baron Davis and Monta Ellis scored 17 points apiece for the Warriors. Golden State has lost three of four, falling two games behind the Los Angeles Clippers into a ninth-place tie with New Orleans in the Western Conference.

Jazz 103, Wizards 97

Carlos Boozer scored 16 of his career-high 41 points in the fourth quarter and added 16 rebounds to help Utah rally for its sixth straight home victory.

Gilbert Arenas scored 26 of his 32 points in the second half for Washington.

Rockets 106, Bucks 87

Tracy McGrady scored 22 points and had nine assists, and Houston won its sixth straight home game.

Juwan Howard added 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Rockets, who are 9-3 since Yao Ming returned from a broken leg.

Michael Redd scored 26 and Charlie Bell added 20 for the Bucks, who haven't won in Houston since 1999, a seven-game losing streak.

Bulls 100, Trail Blazers 89

Luol Deng scored a career-high 38 points, and host Chicago won its third straight.

Deng, whose previous career-high was 32 points, hit 18-of-25 shots and played a big role during the deciding run.

Ben Gordon scored 13 of his 17 in the third, and Kirk Hinrich delivered 11 of his 21 points in the fourth.

Rookie LaMarcus Aldridge led Portland with 20 points, and Zach Randolph added 17 in his first start since returning from a bereavement leave.

Magic 94, Knicks 89

Jameer Nelson made the tying and go-ahead 3-pointers and finished with 18 points, and visiting Orlando sent New York to its season-high fourth straight loss.

The Magic moved into sole possession of seventh place in the Eastern Conference, snapping a tie for with New Jersey.

Stephon Marbury scored 32 points for the fading Knicks, who have lost six of seven. They fell two games behind New Jersey for the eighth spot.

Celtics 95, Raptors 87

Paul Pierce scored 23 points and Al Jefferson added 22 points and nine rebounds to help host Boston snap a three-game losing streak and prevent a season sweep in the series by Toronto.

T.J. Ford scored 28 points and Anthony Parker added 16 points for the Raptors, who had won two in a row.