AUBURN HILLS, Mi., Nov. 21 (Ticker) -- Tayshaun Prince
found the energy to light up the crowd.
Prince's thunderous dunk with 16 seconds left in double overtime
lifted the undermanned Detroit Pistons to a 117-116 triumph
over the Charlotte Bobcats.
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In his 53rd minute of the contest, Prince dribbled past GeraldWallace
on the perimeter, drove the lane and dunked over 6-10
rookie power forward Emeka Okafor
"Tayshaun made a great play," Detroit coach Larry Brown said. "I
got on him about being aggressive and I don't think he can get
any more aggressive than that."
"I was getting prepared to block a layup," Okafor said. "He just
came through and just mashed. This was no time of the game to
be timid. He made a great play. He went to the hole strong,
caught me off guard."
Prince knew it was time to step up.
"In that situation, I hadn't made shots all night, I struggled
all night," he said. "(It was) just a play where I had to take
it to the rim and make a play."
The Bobcats, who lost their seventh straight game, opted not to
call timeout and Okafor missed a short, open baseline jumper as
"I was comfortable, I didn't hesitate," Okafor said. "I thought
it was in. I jumped up like, 'Yeah, yeah,' then it popped out."
Prince and the defending NBA champions put forth a gritty
effort, rallying in the final minute of regulation and the first
overtime. Through fouls and suspensions, the Pistons were down
to five available players at the end of the game.
Prior to the game, NBA commissioner David Stern suspended
Pistons star center Ben Wallace for six games and teammates
, Chauncey Billups
and Elden Campbell
apiece for their roles in Friday's melee against Indiana.
With Detroit's rotation shortened to eight players, the Piston
were left with few options when Richard Hamilton
Wallace and Smush Parker
fouled out. But Prince, who had missed
10 of his first 14 shots, came through with the play that fired
up the crowd at The Palace of Auburn Hills.
Hamilton scored 30 points and teammate Antonio McDyess
season highs of 24 and 13 rebounds.
Charlotte's Jason Kapono
and Primoz Brezec
set career highs with
25 and 22 points, respectively. Okafor had his third
double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds.
The Pistons trailed, 102-97, with 27 seconds left in regulation
before Rasheed Wallace hit two 3-pointers in a span of nine
seconds to tie the game, 103-103.
"I thought that the second 3-pointer that Rasheed made, it was
contested," Charlotte coach Bernie Bickerstaff said. "He did a
very nice job, he made a heck of a shot."
Had Charlotte won, it would have become the first expansion team
to defeat the defending NBA champions. The Bobcats get another
chance when Detroit travels to Charlotte on Tuesday.