Hamilton, Pistons continue dominance over Sixers
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) – Richard Hamilton poured in 30 points and
the Detroit Pistons defeated the Philadelphia 76ers, 87-80, at the Wachovia
Rasheed Wallace scored 20 points and Tayshaun Prince added 16, as the Pistons
won their second straight game and improved to a league-best 39-6 on the
season. Chauncey Billups scored just seven points but dished out 14 assists to
just one turnover.
Detroit took advantage of a Sixers’ squad playing without leading scorer and
emotional leader Allen Iverson. The guard was sitting out his fourth straight
game with a sprained left ankle. Philadelphia dropped its second straight game
and are 2-2 without the Georgetown product in that span.
Chris Webber led the Sixers with 17 points and pulled down nine rebounds,
Andre Iguodala tallied 13 points and three players — John Salmons, Samuel
Dalembert and Kyle Korver — contributed 10 points apiece in the loss.
Dalembert also added 11 rebounds.
The script appeared to be written before tip-off, and even the first quarter
was indicative of two teams far apart in talent and confidence. Detroit
outscored Philadelphia 18-8 over the final seven minutes of the stanza to take
a 29-18 lead.
Wallace tallied eight points during the stretch, including six within a two-
minute span, while the Pistons clamped down defensively on the under-manned
Philadelphia scrapped and clawed back into the contest by keeping possessions
alive via the offensive glass and hustle plays. Salmons drained two jumpers in
the final two minutes of the half and the Sixers drew within 49-42.
The Pistons scored the first two baskets of the third, but again Philadelphia
didn’t go away. Dalembert’s bucket in the paint cut the deficit to 58-52 with
five minutes left and the Sixers trailed 68-60 after three quarters.
The 76ers got within five on multiple occasions during the fourth quarter,
but each time the Pistons responded. Iguodala’s layup trimmed the deficit to
71-66 with 9:05 left, but Detroit scored the next six points capped by two
Hamilton free throws.
A dunk by Iguodala with 22 seconds left again cut the deficit to five, but the
Pistons inbounded the ball long to Prince, who sealed the victory with a slam.
Detroit improved to 18-4 on the road…The Pistons have won seven of the last
eight meetings…Philadelphia dropped to 15-10 at home…There was just two
ties and one lead change as the Pistons led almost throughout the entire way.