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Rip Hamilton sprains ankle in Pistons win

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It happened in the third quarter; he went down and stayed down for a couple of minutes. Eventually, he was helped off the court and taken for X-rays, which were negative. (But remember, "in the medicine community, negative means good.")

There was no indication of how much time he'd miss, but I imagine anyone going to the game in Grand Rapids on Wednesday will be seeing Rip in street clothes, if he makes the trip at all. He was definitely hobbling after the game, though it's not like he was using crutches or anything.

As for the rest of the game, it seemed like Flip Saunders wanted to extend his starters a bit more, perhaps because the team had Saturday off (the first off day since the start of training camp) and the next game isn't until Wednesday. All the starters but Rip played at least 24 minutes. Tayshaun Prince led the way with 30 minutes, scoring 19 with eight boards. As a result of these guys playing extended minutes, though, the bench obviously saw less time, and Cheikh Samb, Ronald Dupree and Sammy Mejia didn't get in the game at all.

Also, you don't generally hear people talk too much about a team's free-throw shooting, but the Pistons were nails from the line on Sunday. As a team, they shot 31-35 (88.1%) at the stripe. In what turned out to be a three-point game, that was huge.

Both Amir Johnson and Nazr Mohammed sat this one out, which was pretty much expected (Amir for sure, Nazr had left open the possibility of playing). For more on their situations, check out my article from yesterday. Here's a taste:

[Johnson is] not able to scrimmage with his teammates, but he's still active during practice. "I'm in the back with the trainer in the weight room, doing some plyometric stuff. I'm on the track, running up and down, seeing how it feels."

Even though he hasn't been able to log a single minute of preseason duty, Johnson doesn't think his lack of game action will change his place in the team's early-season plans. "I did the whole training camp, the whole two-a-days. I only missed three days of practice, so I'll be fine," he said. "I got used to the plays now. I'll be fine in the rotation. Hopefully, they'll put me in there."

Last but not least, I wanted to post a few Sammy Mejia quotes from my brief interview with him in the locker room before the game. I used the meatier stuff for the HOOPSWORLD pre-game blog, but rather than let the rest of it sit unseen on my hard drive, I'm tossing it up here:

On training camp so far:

"It's been cool, it's been great. Great learning experience. It's been tough. The two-a-days weren't easy. Now we're in the point where we're just playing games and practicing on the things we need to do to help our team get better throughout the season."

On his health:

"I twisted my ankle a couple of weeks ago, and it's still bothering me. We're still working on that, and every day is getting better, and I'm just excited about that, that it's getter better and not getting worse."

On getting along with the other three rookies:

"We're all cool, we're all cool guys. You know, the team as a whole, we're all cool guys. We all get along with each other well, and everyone is cool and friendly. It's a great situation for rookies to come into, this is the type of team that embraces you and lets you know what they're about as a team -- it's more like a family than anything else."

On what kind of errands the veterans have the rookies doing:

"The usual stuff, the donuts, the picking up all the basketballs, making sure they get the towels for the shower, stuff like that. ... Every once in a while, they'll just remind us that we're rooks."

Pistons 109, Nuggets 106 box score [ESPN]