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Ben Wallace sparks comeback that comes up short: Spurs 99, Pistons 95

If I read one. more. comparison to 2005, yah mo burn this place to the ground. Ben Wallace, Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili (flopping), Hack-a-Ben, and the Pistons on the losing end of a good, frustrating battle with the Spurs -- yeah, I get it, but I'm still not over it and I don't want to talk about it, okay?

On this night in 2012, a year the Pistons are jockeying for ping pong balls, 37-year-old Ben Wallace broke the all-time games played mark for an undrafted player since the merger. So, with that, I'd rather make tonight about Ben Wallace.

With the Pistons trailing for the majority of the game and down double-digits -- and the sparse crowd, not the beneficiaries of any cool promotion, totally out of it -- it was BigMFBen Wallace that brought the Pistons back and had George Blaha ironically telling us not to look and, ultimately, the PA main man Mason yelling Deeeeeeetroit Basketball after a Spurs turnover like it was [sigh] what feels like a time long, long ago.

Wallace started the fourth quarter in place of the Pistons future. He immediately hit a jumper and then, with the team down 12 around the 10-minute mark, took an inbounds pass, chucked and sank one from three-point range for just the seventh time in his Hall of Fame career, like he's been doing it all along.

Those were five points in what was a 23-8 run that gave the Pistons their first lead since being up 16-14 in the first quarter. Wallace supplemented those buckets with his vintage staunch defense on Duncan, who was 0-for-3 with a turnover during that Pistons run, and rebounds. Gong.

To be fair, Rodney Stuckey scored nine during that span and finished with game-highs in points (23 on 8-for-12 shooting) and assists (8). But the Pistons have two more years of Stuckey. Ben Wallace is retiring at the end of the season and, like our friend Patrick Hayes said over at PistonPowered, we don't have much longer to cherish one of the more remarkable physical specimens in Pistons, nay, NBA history. For the love of God, cherish it.

  • Wallace was playing late in place of Greg Monroe, who struggled Moose-ily. He was just 2-for-11 (both buckets coming in the first half) and had six rebounds. It was his worst game since January 17 when he put up only four points in Houston (although he had 11 rebounds that game).
  • Popovich on Wallace [via FSD]:
  • "He's a great man," Popovich said. "We know he hasn't had a career based on his skills with a basketball. He's had a career based on because of his character, his determination and his perseverance.

    "That's what makes him always the meanest man in the battle. He's exactly the kind of player that every coach wants."

  • Wallace after the game [via WDFN]:

  • The Manu Flop: Manu flops, Manu flops just like Vlade Divac ... floppers gonna flop.
  • Box Score
  • No time to stew or celebrate, pick your poison - it's Boston tomorrow night.
  • I know it's been said many times, many ways, but I just want to say how awesome it is that we have a good rapport with the Spurs fans at Pounding the Rock. It really makes 2005 sting a little less. Good people. Good caddy.
  • Roll Call: madpoopz, Mike Payne, Tim C., SpursfanSteve, The Boourns, Supa Dupe, Kriz, Toledo Joe, Packey, JP423, grantlp13, Lemins, garrettelliott, bugman222, Birdman84, curlyfries, Whoneedsastar, Edg5, Dynamizer, Shinons*, mcflies, tads, fuerstma, Fadel, halfbackattack33, b23, Taiwanese Tora, Trout Jefferson, bluedogg, Jordan Leithart, bonerici, dandresden, doubleteapot, Dragonite
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    bugman222 16
    SpursfanSteve 16
    tads 14
    curlyfries 11
    halfbackattack33 10
    Edg5 9
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    Trout Jefferson 4
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    Dragonite 2
    doubleteapot 1
    dandresden 1
    Whoneedsastar 1
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    Fadel 1
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