AUBURN HILLS, Mich., May 25 (Ticker) -- Ben Wallace revved up the motivational motor of the Detroit Pistons, who had just enough to reach the finish line.

Wallace unleashed the early energy and Tayshaun Prince provided the offensive punch with 24 points as the Pistons evened the Eastern Conference finals at a game apiece by holding on for a 92-88 victory over the Miami Heat.

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Richard Hamilton scored 20 of his 22 points in the first half for the top-seeded Pistons, who bounced back from a dispirited loss in Game 1 and dealt the second-seeded Heat their first road setback since April 30.

"I think our focus was a little better tonight," Wallace said. "Everybody was on the same page."

After winning six of their first seven playoff games, the Pistons fell into a funk that saw them endure their first three-game losing streak of the season and be pushed to the limit by the upstart Cleveland Cavaliers in the conference semifinals.

Monday's loss to Miami was their fourth in six games, a stretch during which they averaged just 80.3 points and displayed an uncharacteristic lack of determination and focus.

Wallace has earned four Defensive Player of the Year Awards and five All-Star berths with his boundless energy, primarily on the defensive end. He added some unexpected offense as well, scoring seven points as Detroit bolted to an 18-6 lead and never looked back.

"When I get involved on offense, it forces the other team to keep a guy on me and not allow him to roll around me," Wallace said. "It opens things up for my teammates. Rip (Hamilton) and Chauncey (Billups) made a couple passes that got me some layups and I was able to get good looks. When we've got everybody involved, it makes it tougher on the defense than we're playing four against five."

"We need to make Ben an offensive threat," Hamilton said. "Sometimes they don't guard him."

In all, Wallace had nine points, 12 rebounds, three assists and a block. He even made a free throw, something he has done just 11 times in 46 tries in the postseason.

"Ben played with energy tonight," Pistons coach Flip Saunders said. "When he feels that he's a part of things, he's more energized. We had to get back to our equal opportunity offense. Ben just wasn't scoring, but he was making good passes, too."

The quick start helped Detroit open a 25-12 lead after one period. Miami whittled the deficit to 41-37 late in the second quarter before Wallace dunked and Hamilton made a layup and 3-pointer to close the half and rebuild the lead to 48-37.

"We came out and got the ball moving," Wallace said. "We forced (Miami) to play the way we like to play. Anytime we can take the tempo of the game, I like our chances."

Detroit maintained a double-digit lead into the fourth quarter, when it began to sputter again but was kept moving forward by Prince, who scored 10 points in the period. For the first nine minutes, he was the only Piston to score from the floor.

"When we're going through a drought or we're getting out of sync, I try to tell Chauncey to let me try to get something going to the basket or get to the foul line," said Prince, who made 10-of-20 shots and added 11 rebounds. "I've just been in a situation where I've been getting some offensive rebounds and doing the little things to get my game going."

"He's played like that since a couple weeks after the All-Star break," Saunders said. "He's making good basketball decisions. He's the one (starter) that didn't make the All-Star Game, but he's been playing like an All-Star since then."

The Heat drew within 77-71 and had a chance to get closer, but James Posey and Dwyane Wade missed 3-pointers. A 3-pointer by Rasheed Wallace and a jumper by Billups made it 83-71 with 2:01 remaining, allowing the Pistons to relax again.

Miami made it interesting, scoring 17 points in the final 1:46. The Heat forced a five-second violation and Wade threw in a 3-pointer to cut it to 90-88 with 9.8 seconds to play, but Billups sealed it with two free throws.

"At the end of the game, we started playing not to lose," Saunders said. "You just want for the clock to keep moving. Then you lose some of the concepts you had been using."

"You can't dig yourself into a hole against a Detroit team because that team will not beat themselves," Wade said. "You have to beat them."

Billups had 18 points and eight assists and Rasheed Wallace scored 16 points for the Pistons, who shot 44 percent (33-of-75). They will try to regain home-court advantage in Miami on Saturday.

Wade scored 32 points and Shaquille O'Neal added 21 and 12 rebounds for the Heat, who shot 42.5 percent (31-of-73). Wade committed nine of Miami's 19 turnovers.

"We just were a step slow," O'Neal said. "We know they're the best team in the East and we knew they were going to regroup and play."

Unlike Game 1, Wade and O'Neal did not get much help from their role players. The quartet of Antoine Walker, Jason Williams, Gary Payton and Posey combined for 31 points on 9-of-30 shooting after producing 46 points on 18-of-30 in the opener.

"You have those nights where guys you count on don't shoot well and then you're going to be in trouble," Heat coach Pat Riley said. "We had that tonight. We have to have three or four guys play well. It doesn't necessarily mean that they have to score points, but play well and contribute."

"I think they missed some open shots, but if you don't give them easy baskets, they don't have the confidence to make the open shots," Saunders said. "We made some adjustments. We made a conscious effort to choke off their role-type players."