Prince (25), Pistons make paupers of Kings at Arco

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- When the Detroit Pistons were

introduced before Tuesday night's game, the Arco Arena scoreboard

flashed images of abandoned buildings, burned-out cars -- nearly

every outdated, offensive stereotype of their hometown.

Most of the Pistons didn't see the display, but they went out

and wrecked the Sacramento Kings' home opener anyway.

Tayshaun Prince scored 25 points while making 10 straight shots,

and the Pistons emphatically snapped an eight-game losing streak in

Sacramento with a 102-88 victory.

The Kings quickly apologized for the scoreboard montage, and the

Detroit players didn't hear about it until they got dressed in

their locker room after an impressive victory -- their first in

Sacramento since Feb. 26, 1996.

"To do something like that, it's embarrassing," said Detroit

coach Flip Saunders, who saw the video. "It's not called for.

There's no excuse for that. Whoever did that owes us an apology.

... I know the Maloofs pretty well, and they've always been nothing

but classy. I'm sure they didn't have anything to do with that."

John Thomas, the president of Maloof Sports and Entertainment,

claimed he didn't know who was responsible for the video, but

promised immediate discipline.

"It was a terrible mistake," Thomas said. "That's not how we

do things. We apologize to the great Detroit organization and to

the city of Detroit. ... There's no explanation. It was a mistake,

and it won't happen again."

The Pistons played with plenty of motivation even though they

didn't see the show. Chauncey Billups had 16 points and eight

assists, and Richard Hamilton added 21 points and six rebounds as

Detroit (4-0) extended the club's best start since 1996.

"I just heard about it," Billups said. "I wasn't really

paying attention. That's cold. Bet they won't do that again."

"Don't tread on D," forward Rasheed Wallace said with a grin.

Detroit played a remarkably proficient game against the Kings,

who couldn't keep up despite big performances from newcomers

Shareef Abdur-Rahim and Bonzi Wells in their regular-season home


In the opener of a three-game road trip, Detroit scored easy

fast-break baskets and hit countless difficult jumpers while taking

a 21-point lead early in the fourth quarter -- and shutting down

Peja Stojakovic and Mike Bibby on the other end.

"I walk away from this game feeling like we let them do what

they wanted to do," said Abdur-Rahim, who had 14 points. "They

made everything easy. Tonight, we got pushed around."

After just four games, the defending Eastern Conference

champions already look comfortable with the marriage of their usual

hard-nosed defense and Saunders' up-tempo offensive mentality.

Prince scored 19 points and hit three 3-pointers in the second

half for the Pistons, who made a 24-4 run spanning the third and

fourth quarters. Detroit scored the first 11 points of the fourth,

sending home much of the sellout crowd.

"In that situation, I'm going to shoot until I miss," Prince

said. "And with this coaching staff, we're going to ride whoever

is hot. It's definitely a big confidence-booster. What's most

important is the coaching staff is behind you."

Wells scored 16 points in the first game at Arco Arena in 21

days for the Kings, who were stuck with the NBA's last home opener

for the second straight season.

After draining exhibition visits to Fresno, Albuquerque and Las

Vegas, the Kings opened the regular season with a three-game road

trip featuring a 26-point loss to the New Orleans Hornets in

Oklahoma City.

"I don't care if we're playing home or not," coach Rick

Adelman said. "We just ran into a better team. Their starting five

has played together for a while. They executed very well, and they

shot it very well. We looked like a team that is inexperienced

playing together."

Detroit started slowly but soon made a 21-4 run in the first

quarter, killing the Kings with transition baskets and tough

jumpers. The Pistons maintained a steady lead for the rest of the

night, even though Sacramento played mostly good defense and got 28

points from its reserves.

The Pistons were so impressive in the second half, making big

defensive stops and hitting one difficult basket after another,

that Billups and Saunders repeatedly stood and clapped for the

players on the court near the Detroit bench.

The Pistons held Sacramento scoreless over the first 5:08 of the

fourth quarter, scoring 11 straight points.

Maurice Evans, who left the Kings to sign with Detroit in the

offseason, scored 12 points on his 27th birthday.

Game notes
Sacramento Monarchs stars Yolanda Griffith and Kara Lawson

got a standing ovation in the first quarter. ... Rapper and "Pimp

My Ride" host Xzibit also sat courtside. ... Playing just 31

minutes, Prince fell six points short of his career high.