Detroit celebrated former Pistons great Ben Wallace on Saturday with a win over the NBA’s current best, handing the Golden State Warriors just their fourth defeat of the season.
The Pistons beat the Warriors 113-95, Golden State’s second defeat in three games and a perfect ending for Detroit fans to a night that saw their club retire four-time defensive player of the year Wallace’s number three jersey in their Palace at Auburn Hills arena at halftime.
Pistons point guard Reggie Jackson and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had 20 points apiece and Detroit led by double digits throughout the second half.
Jackson added eight assists and Caldwell-Pope had five rebounds and three steals.
Center Andre Drummond produced his league-leading 34th double-double with 14 points and 21 rebounds.
Warriors point guard Stephen Curry, the reigning NBA Most Valuable Player and the league’s leading scorer, delivered on cue with 38 points, five assists and seven rebounds.
But the rest of the Warriors offered little support.
Shooting guard Klay Thompson scored 24 points, but power forward Draymond Green was held to five — 10 below his average.
Golden State did chip away at the Pistons’ 19-point lead in the third quarter.
Curry, who scored 16 points in the period, drained two three-pointers to pull his team within 12. Another Curry three-pointer made it 83-73 later in the frame.
But Detroit opened the fourth quarter with a 9-0 scoring run to seize control.
The surge included an alley-oop dunk by Drummond after Warriors forward Harrison Barnes had his layup blocked by Detroit’s rookie small forward Stanley Johnson.
Golden State got so out of synch that veteran forward Andre Iguodala put the ball over the backboard on an attempted layup.
Okafor connected on 12 of 16 from the field and pulled down 10 rebounds for the Sixers, the worst team in the league.
Prior to Saturday, Philadelphia’s biggest win was 103-91 victory over the similarly sorry Los Angeles Lakers on December 1.
Forward Richaun Holmes scored 17 points and guard Ish Smith and forward Robert Covington had 16 apiece for the 76ers, who shot 55.3 percent.
Guard Isaiah Canaan contributed 14 points.
Meyers Leonard led Portland with 16 points and Damian Lillard added 14 for the Trail Blazers but shot just 4-for-18 from the floor as Portland’s win streak ended at three games.
Overall, Portland shot just 39.1 percent, including 17.2 percent from three-point range.