In a rematch of the NBA Finals, the result was the same -- a thorough thrashing of the Los Angeles Lakers by the Detroit Pistons.
Rasheed Wallace had 23 points and a season-high 15 rebounds and Tayshaun Prince scored 25 points as Detroit got off to a strong start and routed the Lakers, 103-81, last night in Auburn Hills, Mich., in their first meeting since last June.
The Pistons looked a lot like the team that disposed of Los Angeles in five games while winning by an average margin of 13 points, while the Lakers bore almost no resemblance to their predecessors from last season.
The Pistons moved a half-game ahead of Cleveland in the Central Division standings with their sixth win in seven games. They led by 14 points less than five minutes into a game that was never in doubt.
SuperSonics 115, Kings 107 -- Antonio Daniels scored 14 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter, helping host Seattle to its third victory this season over Sacramento. The Northwest Division-leading Sonics won their fourth game in a row, while the Kings dropped their third straight.
All-Stars Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis led the way for the Sonics with 34 and 23 points, respectively, but Daniels, Seattle's valuable reserve point guard, shined in the final period while playing the entire 12 minutes in place of starter Luke Ridnour.
Magic 101, Hawks 96 -- Steve Francis scored 11 of his 28 points in the fourth quarter, including a game-deciding 17-footer with 17 seconds to play, to help host Orlando defeat Atlanta. Hedo Turkoglu added 24 points and rookie Dwight Howard had 15 points and 20 rebounds for the Magic, who had lost four of their previous five. Howard became the first rookie since Tim Duncan in 1997-98 to record two 20-rebound games in a season.
Antoine Walker led Atlanta with 25 points, including a 3-pointer with 38 seconds left to cut what had been a 20-point deficit to 97-94. Francis answered with a 17-foot jumper over Tony Delk to end the Hawks' rally.