Prince’s Pistons Cruise Past Timberwolves
Detroit 90, Minnesota 74
AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Feb. 1 (Ticker) -- Tayshaun Prince and Richard Hamilton kept the Detroit Pistons from losing back-to-back games.
Hamilton scored 21 points and Prince added 20 as the Pistons bounced back from their sixth loss of the season by rolling past the Minnesota Timberwolves, 90-74.
"We don't look at that," Hamilton said. "Last night we had every opportunity to win, but it seemed like everything went wrong. Tonight, we wanted to get out of the gate early and if the shots didn't fall, then we could do other things to win."
Chauncey Billups said that avoiding consecutive losses wasn't the focus coming into the game.
"We don't look at it as back-to-back, but we look at winning every single game," Billups said. "When we do slip up, we try to minimize it. We knew last night's game was right there for us to win. We don't like losing close games."
It was Pistons coach Flip Saunders second win over his former team. Detroit won in Minnesota, where Saunders led the Timberwolves to eight straight playoff appearances, on Jan. 24.
Prince scored 13 points in the first quarter while the rest of his teammates struggled as the Timberwolves took a 22-21 edge into the second period.
"I hit my first couple shots," Prince said. "When you do that, they start looking for you a little more."
Minnesota held a 27-23 lead early in the second quarter when Detroit responded by scoring 20 of the next 22 points. Rasheed Wallace capped the burst with a 3-pointer that gave the Pistons a 43-29 advantage with 2:21 left in the first half.
The bench triggered the outburst in the second quarter. Carlos Arroyo hit the first two baskets in the spurt, Antonio McDyess had two baskets and Carlos Delfino scored five points, including a 3-pointer.
"The second unit really got us going," Prince said. "They caused some turnovers and hit some shots. It's good to get everybody involved."
Detroit took a 47-37 lead into the break and then opened the third period with a 12-1 run, which Hamilton finished with a dunk with 7:24 remaining in the session.
"The second quarter hurt us," said Minnesota guard Ricky Davis, who was playing in his third game since coming over in a seven-player trade. "I think they jumped out to a 10- or 12-point lead and we just couldn't get it back. When you play ball against that team you have to execute."
Although Minnesota never really was in the game after the Pistons' second-quarter run, Timberwolves coach Dwane Casey wasn't angry about his team's performance.
"That team has been together how many years? Four? Five?" he said. "We've been together three games. They spanked us, but they've spanked a lot of people this year. We have to deal with it, go back to practice tomorrow and get ready for Portland (on Friday)."
Pistons center Ben Wallace didn't score a point, but did collect 17 rebounds, four steals and three blocks. During one trip down the floor in the fourth quarter, he grabbed four offensive rebounds and on the fourth, passed to Hamilton for a 3-pointer.
"I just had one of those out-of-body experiences," Wallace said. "I was just trying to be active and make things happen."
"He was everywhere that ball was," Hamilton said. "He was stealing the ball, getting rebounds, blocking shots."
Kevin Garnett was held to just 14 points on 6-of-13 shooting for the Timberwolves.