One night after a rare poor defensive effort led to a loss in
Toronto, the Pistons limited Iverson to eight points in the second
half and beat the 76ers 99-91 Saturday night.
"Last night, the whole team seemed a step slow," Detroit
interim coach Gar Heard said. "Tonight, we were aggressive right
from the start."
Heard is filling in for Larry Brown, who is hospitalized after
having hip surgery on Wednesday. He has missed two games, and is
expected to return on Nov. 17.
Chauncey Billups led the way for Detroit, finishing with 20
points and 10 assists.
"We've got a lot of offensive weapons, but defense is where we
make our living," Billups said. "Tonight, the defense stepped up
and made them take a lot of tough shots, and they didn't make
enough of them to beat us."
Iverson scored a game-high 31 points for the Sixers.
"They started giving me a lot more attention in the second half
-- trapping me and doubling," Iverson said. "So, I started looking
for the other guys. That's what a point guard is supposed to do."
Philadelphia coach Jim O'Brien thinks that his All-Star needs
"Allen can't always carry the load by himself," he said.
"He's playing back-to-back games and he's got to push the ball and
defend one of their best players. We need to establish an inside
game, but that's tough to do against Detroit."
The Pistons blocked 13 shots, including five by Ben Wallace, who
added 11 points and 16 rebounds.
"It's a nightmare," Iverson said. "You work the ball in close
and it comes flying right back at you. But you have to keep
Billups scored 18 first-half points and helped Detroit to a
53-46 lead at the break.
The Sixers got within five points, but Rasheed Wallace scored
seven straight to give the Pistons a 60-48 lead early in the third
Rasheed Wallace finished with 12 points in the period, and
Tayshaun Prince took over defensive duties on Iverson and held him
to four points.
"Tayshaun is a very good defensive player and he's long,"
Heard said. "He's the kind of guy who can give Allen trouble."
Philadelphia scored the first four points of the fourth quarter,
but Antonio McDyess countered with six points in an 8-2 run that
helped put the game out of reach.
"I wasn't looking for shots -- I was looking to come in and play
defense and the rest just happened," said McDyess, who had 12
points after scoring just five in the first two games. "I'm just
glad I'm finally contributing."
Corliss Williamson received a standing ovation while
getting his NBA championship ring from Pistons owner Bill Davidson
before the game. Williamson and Hamilton are the only active
players to have won NCAA and NBA titles. ... Hamilton, who had been
wearing a protective face mask for several months, discarded it
during the first half. ... Iverson was given a technical for
arguing a third-quarter call.
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