Experience counts

The starting backcourt for the Detroit Pistons features talent and NBA experience, and it has showed in the first half of the Pistons' battle with the Lakers.

Detroit grabbed a 42-32 halftime lead behind Rodney Stuckey and Aaron Afflalo. Both played for the Detroit team that went 4-1 in Las Vegas last summer, and both were important members of last year's regular-season squad.

Stuckey averaged 19 points per game last summer and became a star when he filled in admirably for an injured Chauncey Billups during a playoff series against Orlando.

He has been the smoothest player on the court today, by far. At the half, he has 11 points, but his passes and movement have been crisp.

Afflalo has four points on 2-for-8 shooting. Former Brigham Young forward Trent Plaisted has four points and two rebounds for the Pistons.

Coby Karl has eight points for Los Angeles. Marcelus Kemp, from UNR, has just two points.

The planners of the event made a mistake in the first half. Apparently, they decided that a good time to bring out "Coyote," the mascot of the San Antonio Spurs.

Probably not a good idea during a Lakers game. The mostly pro-Lakers crowd did not warmly receive the not-so-lovable mascot.

The halftime show featured a brief game between two teams made up of children from St. Viator. The halftime game averaged fewer turnovers per minute than the slopfest played between Philadelphia and Golden State this morning.

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