On a night when the Pistons two "building blocks" struggled, Rodney Stuckey said, "don't forget about me." On a night when the Pistons had no answer for the Lakers frontcourt, Ben Wallace said, "I've still got some quality post D left in me." On a night when the majority of the Palace of Auburn Hills was cheering on Kobe Bryant, Tayshaun Prince said "not so fast."
The Pistons pulled out a stunning 88-85 victory in overtime Tuesday in front of a hostile home crowd that had a lot of Lakers fans sucking up all the oxygen. But as they've done several times this year, the Pistons were able to step up against a quality opponent an played them tough all night.
Rodney Stuckey was the player of the game with 34 points, with the majority of them coming in the fourth quarter and overtime. He took advantage of solid defensive possessions by running the ball down the court and knifing into the lane before the Lakers big men could set up shop.
And the Pistons needed every bit of Stuckey's offensive magic as Greg Monroe and Brandon Knight couldn't hit anything. The two young cornerstones of the team combined for two points on 1-16 shooting. Monroe was able to help in other ways, however, grabbing 16 rebounds and dishing three assists.
And while Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol were able to have their way with the Pistons for most of the night, it was a struggle for Bryant. In a matchup straight out of 2004, Prince hounded Bryant all night and held him to 22 points on a miserable 8-26 shooting night.
And just as Stuckey was able to step up with Knight struggling, the Pistons' other big men stepped up to help Monroe. Jason Maxiell got off to a hot start and grabbed some big rebounds late in the game. he finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Ben Wallace also contributed some great defense against Bynum and Ben Gordon was able to spark the Pistons bench unit with 15 points. In fact, the Pistons bench outscored the Lakers reserves 32-7.
But in the end it was Stuckey's night. With 2:45 to go in regulation Bynum made an easy layup to put the Lakers up 74-71 and it looked like the Pistons were going to lose a heartbreaker. But Stuckey was able to score seven points in the span of two minutes and suddenly Detroit was up two points with five seconds left.
Bryant was able to shake off all his previous bricks and knocked down an off-balance fadeaway jumper from the right elbow over some smothering defense of Prince to send the game to overtime.
But Stuckey picked up where he left off in the fourth quarter and scored six more in overtime. And the Pistons were able to send way too many Lakers fans home from the Palace in a very bad mood.