Philadelphia at Detroit

Pistons pull away in fourth for sloppy victory over Sixers

CBSSports.com wire reports
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AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- If anybody thought Ben Wallace was going to just play out the string this season with the Pistons, they had better reconsider.

That's not at all how it's working out.

Wallace has been rejuvenated by his return to Detroit, providing the same contributions that helped the Pistons win the 2004 championship and nearly repeat a year later.

In Sunday's 88-81 victory over Philadelphia, Wallace only scored two points, but finished 16 rebounds, three blocks and three steals. Seven of his rebounds came on the offensive glass, helping the Pistons grab a season-high 21.

"I knew Ben was going to be an asset this season because he'd be able to teach our bigs," Pistons coach John Kuester said. "I never imagined he could have this kind of impact on the court. This is the old Ben Wallace again, and he's making Kwame Brown, Jason Maxiell and Chris Wilcox better just by showing them what it is possible to do."

Kuester joked that Wallace's comeback has been fueled entirely by his coaching, but Ben Gordon has a different opinion.

"This is where Ben feels like home," said Gordon, who also played with Wallace on the Bulls. "When he came to Chicago, it never seemed like he felt that way, and I don't think it happened for him in Cleveland, either. He's been incredible for us this year."

Gordon led Detroit with 23 points as it continues to find ways to make up for the absence of Tayshaun Prince (back) and Richard Hamilton (ankle).

"This was big for us -- any game we can win without Tay and Rip is huge," Gordon said. "It was tied with a few minutes left, and we could have easily panicked, but we showed some poise and resolve."

Andre Iguodala led Philadelphia with 24 points, but the 76ers missed their last eight field-goal attempts.

"They were sagging in the paint, and I thought we took midrange shots that we will make on a normal basis," said Philadelphia coach Eddie Jordan. "The story of the game was that we could not rebound the basketball. We shot ourselves in the foot with their offensive rebounds and some plays that we didn't finish at the basket."

Detroit led 43-37 after a first half that saw both offenses struggle, and only 20 offensive rebounds -- 13 of them by the Pistons -- allowed the teams to reach 80 combined points. Iguodala had 15 in the half for Philadelphia, while Gordon had 10 for Detroit.

The 76ers tied the game early in the second half, but Gordon and rookie Jonas Jerebko led a surge that put Detroit ahead by as many as nine. Jerebko and fellow rookie Austin Daye combined for 17 points and seven rebounds.

"You have to like the way our rookies have performed this early -- they are both going to be good players," Kuester said. "So is DaJuan Summers, once he gets a chance to get some minutes."

Rodney Stuckey's late jumper put the Pistons ahead 64-59 going into the fourth, but Marreese Speights' put-back dunk gave the 76ers their first lead with 7:22 to play. After Stuckey made a free throw, Iguodala hit a 3-pointer to give Philadelphia a three-point edge.

Wallace helped Detroit's last surge with two blocks and another offensive rebound, and Villanueva's runner gave the Pistons an 81-77 lead with 3:09 left. Philadelphia did not score a field goal for the final six minutes.

"This was one of those games where we just couldn't get anything going," said Detroit native Willie Green, who finished with 13 points for the 76ers. "It was one of those games that could have gone either way, but they got too many easy baskets in the paint. We need to do a better job rebounding."

Notes

  • Prince missed his fourth straight game, while Hamilton was out for the sixth time in a row. Pistons coach John Kuester does not expect either to return within the next week.
  • Speights left the game with 4:50 to play after banging knees with a Pistons player under the basket, but said after the game that he was fine.
  • The Pistons had 19 offensive rebounds in the first three quarters, while the 76ers had only 17 defensive boards in the same period.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
 
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Detroit's Ben Wallace makes his presence felt on defense against the 76ers.  (AP)
Detroit's Ben Wallace makes his presence felt on defense against the 76ers. (AP)

Scoreboard
Philadelphia (3-3) 1918222281
Detroit (3-4) «2320212488
PHI:A. Iguodala 24 Pts
PHI:E. Brand 9 Reb
PHI:L. Williams 5 Ast
DET:B. Gordon 23 Pts
DET:B. Wallace 16 Reb
DET:W. Bynum 8 Ast
Players of the Game
DetroitPhiladelphia

B. Gordon

A. Iguodala
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
23232464
Philadelphia
A. Iguodala, SF399-164-764124
T. Young, SF344-132-463110
L. Williams, SG323-100-00526
E. Brand, PF293-100-09116
S. Dalembert, C141-32-25024
W. Green, SG236-101-234213
M. Speights, PF237-91-162315
J. Smith, PF191-20-02033
R. Carney, SF130-10-01110
R. Ivey, PG90-10-01000
J. Kapono, SF40-30-00100
J. Holiday, PGDid Not Play
P. Brezec, CDid Not Play
Totals 34-7810-1639211681
 43.6%62.5% 
Detroit
R. Stuckey, SG415-153-453313
B. Gordon, SG389-192-223323
B. Wallace, C300-22-416012
C. Villanueva, PF277-122-450316
J. Jerebko, SF225-100-050110
W. Bynum, PG283-82-48838
J. Maxiell, PF211-20-02032
K. Brown, C183-51-18007
A. Daye, SF153-81-20007
C. Atkins, PGDid Not Play
D. Summers, SFDid Not Play
R. Hamilton, SGDid Not Play
T. Prince, SFDid Not Play
C. Wilcox, PFDid Not Play
Totals 36-8113-2151141788
 44.4%61.9% 
Other Games
Pho 102 Final
Wash 90
Orl 74 Final
OKC 102
Min 93 Final
Port 116
GS 107 Final
Sac 120
NO 88 Final
LAL 104