PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 16 (Ticker) --
Any ideas the Philadelphia 76ers had
of a season-high four-game winning streak were quickly shot down
by the Detroit Pistons.
The Pistons made five of their nine 3-pointers in the first
quarter and cruised into the All-Star break with a 93-75 victory
over the 76ers.
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and Richard Hamilton
scored 20 points each for
Detroit, which has won four in a row and nine of 10. The
defending NBA champions enter the midseason break at 32-19 and
atop the Central Division.
"It was a good run and hopefully we can continue it after the
break," Hamilton said. "We're really taking our time on offense
and we're playing together and hopefully we can continue to play
"Chauncey gets 20 points on eight shots, that's pretty
efficient," Brown said. "Rip (Hamilton) got it going before he
got a couple of fouls. We got a lot of guys that contribute.
We don't have to rely on one or two guys. We have a lot of
eople stepping up."
The 76ers had matched a season high with three straight wins,
climbing to .500 for the first time in nearly three months. But
they came out flat and the Pistons pounced.
"We played a poor game against a good basketball team," Sixers
coach Jim O'Brien said. "We just didn't play well enough to be
in the ballgame."
and Hamilton made consecutive 3-pointers for a
12-4 lead and Billups and Hamilton struck for an 18-6 bulge with
4:05 left in the first quarter. A 3-pointer by Billups and a
jumper by Antonio McDyess
made it 25-8 with 1:40 to go and
brought out some boo birds at the Wachovia Center.
"We just tried to get on them early," Pistons guard Richard
Hamilton said. "We made shots. We made a lot of three-pointers
and we defended well. We knew that it was going to be a tough
assignment. We just didn't them want them to get a lead early so
we did a really good job of defending."
The Pistons led, 28-13, after one quarter and maintained a
double-digit margin through the second period. The Sixers cut a
48-35 halftime deficit to 63-56 before Billups drilled a
3-pointer after an offensive rebound.
"We started pretty well," Billups said. "We got what we wanted
pretty much. Then we started to turn the ball over too much and
that kept them in striking distance. Had we taken care of the
ball, maybe we would have had a better first half."
In the final period, Philadelphia got no closer than 73-64
before Hamilton and Billups answered with baskets.
"It was that type of game," Hamilton said. "Anytime you got a
guy like Allen Iverson
, you know that they was going to make
their run. You have to stay with your offense and we stayed with
our offense and we made big shots each time."
"Every time they seemed to make a run, we started to execute,"
Pistons coach Larry Brown said.
Prince scored 15 points and Philadelphia native Rasheed Wallace
added 13 and 11 rebounds for Detroit, which shot 50 percent
(36-of-72), including 9-of-17 from the arc.
The Pistons also did a good job in limiting Allen Iverson to 23
points and seven assists. The NBA scoring leader had totaled 98
points in his last two games but made just 8-of-21 shots and
committed six turnovers.
"We tried to guard him with everybody on our team," said Brown,
who coached Iverson for six years. "We kept a fresh guy on him
and we made sure that we were in a position to help as much as
we could. You can't guard him; that's impossible. You've got
to try to limit his opportunities to get easy baskets."