Wednesday , Dec , 10 , 2003 C.Y. Ellis

No answer needed: Sixers win again versus Brown, Pistons

Auburn Hills, MI (Sports Network) – Aaron McKie scored 21 points to lead the
Philadelphia 76ers past the Detroit Pistons, 78-76, at The Palace. Eric Snow
had 17 points and seven assists as the Sixers defeated former coach Larry
Brown for the second time this season.

The Sixers, who have won three straight and four of their last five, played
without NBA-leading scorer Allen Iverson, who is nursing a swollen knee.

“That’s pretty much been the story for us over the last three years – banged
up, injuries, we just have to go with what we’ve got,” said McKie. “We can’t
continue to make excuses or wait until we get healthy. We just have to go out
and play.”

John Salmons contributed 12 points and seven rebounds off the bench, while
Derrick Coleman netted 11 points in the win. Philadelphia defeated Brown and
the Pistons on November 26 at the Wachovia Center.

Brown coached the Sixers for six seasons before resigning after the 2002-03
campaign. He then accepted the job in Detroit a week later.

“I told them at halftime, I feel terrible because every halftime I feel like
I’m pleading the same things,” Brown said. “We put on the board, we play hard,
play smart, play unselfishly, and I don’t feel very good about those three
areas.”

Chauncey Billups poured in a game-high 29 points on 11-of-21 shooting for the
Pistons, who have lost two in a row after a four-game win streak. Richard
Hamilton finished with 15 points in the loss.

After Detroit cut the lead to three at 71-68, McKie buried a fadeaway jumper
to make it a five-point game with two minutes to play in the game. Two foul
shots by Hamilton preceded another tough shot by McKie, who gave the Sixers a
75-70 advantage.

Snow’s jump shot from the top of the key pushed the lead to 77-72, but two
quick baskets by Detroit made it a one-point game with 30 seconds left.

“With Allen out, we have to be a more defensive team because scoring is
tougher,” Snow said. “We put a premium on slowing the game down and when you
do that, most of the time the defense is able to set it up and you’re a better
defensive team.”

With time running out, Tayshaun Prince drove the lane but his shot over Samuel
Dalembert bounced off the back of the iron. Snow was immediately fouled and
Coleman made it 78-76 on 1-of-2 free throws with eight-tenths of a second on
the clock.

Dalembert ended with six points and tied a career-high with 10 rebounds.

McKie blocked Mehmet Okur’s desperation jump shot to seal the win —
Philadelphia’s third straight against Detroit.

“We had enough just to hang on tonight. Our guys pulled it together for 48
minutes and gave us the win,” Sixers coach Randy Ayers said.

The Pistons jumped out to a 12-4 lead as Billups rattled home a three four
minutes into the game. Philadelphia, however, countered with a 9-4 run to
close within three at 16-13. Detroit then led, 19-16, after 12 minutes.

Down 24-20 early in the second quarter, the Sixers scored 10 of the next 14
points for a 30-28 lead with two minutes to go. McKie capped the spurt with a
driving layup. Philadelphia then headed to the break ahead, 32-31.

McKie’s basket midway through the third quarter extended Philadelphia’s lead
to four at 39-35. McKie then buried a three for a 42-35 edge and later pushed
the margin to 48-40 with a layup. The Sixers eventually carried a 54-47 lead
into the fourth quarter.

For the game, McKie was 9-of-16 shooting and made 2-of-3 from beyond the arc.

Ben Wallace slammed down a Hamilton pass to pull the Pistons within 59-55 with
eight minutes to go in the game. Dalembert later had an alley-oop dunk of his
own for a 63-55 Philadelphia lead.

“We’ve got to be a little more focused and beat teams up,” Wallace said.
“Instead, we’re letting teams walk all over us. They had injured players and
they didn’t have all their guns, and we just laid down for them. You might
think they would lay down, but it was us that laid down. We can’t do that.
We’ve got to fight.”

Billups’ three midway through the period trimmed the deficit to 65-59. He
would later knock down another three-pointer, making it 67-64. The Sixers then
ripped off four straight points for a seven-point lead, culminated by Salmons’
two-handed jam.

Philly made 43 percent from the floor and won the rebounding battle, 42-39.
Detroit shot just 37 percent for the game, but tied a season high with 14
blocks.

DET PHI