AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) — Samuel Dalembert had more offensive rebounds than Andre Drummond, Greg Monroe and Josh Smith combined.
That was probably the most telling stat from Saturday's game, which Dalembert's Dallas Mavericks won 113-102 over a Detroit team hurt throughout the night by Drummond's foul trouble. Dirk Nowitzki scored 24 points and Vince Carter added 18 for Dallas.
"If you're able to get them in foul trouble early, they kind of slow things down a little bit and become less aggressive," Dalembert said. "We knew what we were getting into, and we were ready for the fight."
Dallas had surprising success on the boards against Detroit's imposing front line. The Mavericks finished with 16 offensive rebounds. The Pistons, who came in as the NBA's top team in that department, had only nine.
Drummond finished with only eight points and three rebounds in just under 20 minutes of action.
"When you get in foul trouble, it changes your aggression, but it also keeps you from ever getting in the flow of the game," Detroit interim coach John Loyer said. "Andre is a guy who is normally always into the flow, but he wasn't able to do that tonight, whether because of the fouls or something else. I know he'll be in the gym tomorrow making sure it doesn't happen again."
Smith kept the Pistons in the game for a while and finished with 32 points, his most since signing with Detroit last offseason.
Monta Ellis had 12 points and 13 assists for the Mavericks.
Dallas leads ninth-place Memphis by two games in the Western Conference playoff race. The Pistons, meanwhile, fell 3½ games behind Atlanta for the final playoff spot in the East.
Dallas led by 13 in the third quarter, and after the Pistons closed within four in the fourth, Nowitzki connected from beyond the arc to give the Mavericks a 96-89 lead. Dallas was able to keep Detroit at arm's length after that.
"We did a pretty good job of not letting them get too much momentum," Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said. "When you let them get momentum and get in transition they convert quick, they can hit 3s, they throw lobs, and then it turns into a circus."