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Detroit staves off Philadelphia rally

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) -- Moments after running a play to get
Richard Hamilton a layup, the Detroit Pistons added a twist to set
up Tayshaun Prince for a short jumper.

Prince's 11-footer with 24.5 seconds left put the Pistons ahead
and his two free throws sealed a 99-95 victory over the
Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday night.

"They thought we were going to Rip (Hamilton), so it surprised
them," Prince said.

Hamilton scored 25 points and Prince had 19 for the Pistons, who
extended their season-long winning streak to five games. Detroit
has won 12 of 16 since falling to .500 on Dec. 11.

"We definitely are playing a lot better," Prince said. "But
are we on a roll? We've been winning games, but we still haven't
been playing the way we would like."

Allen Iverson had 28 points on 9-of-26 shooting, 13 assists --
tying a season high -- and only one turnover for the Sixers.

"I don't know how you can guard him," said Pistons coach Larry
Brown, who had an up-and-down relationship with Iverson when he was
in Philadelphia. "He still gets a lot of shots because they run a
lot of things for him, but more so than ever before, if you help on
him he gets it to somebody right away."

The Pistons led by as much as 16 points and were ahead by seven
with less than 4 minutes left before Philadelphia rallied.

Iverson's two free throws put the Sixers ahead -- for the first
time since the opening minutes -- with 2:12 to go and they led 93-88
after Kyle Korver made three free throws.

Chauncey Billups' 3-pointer and Rasheed Wallace's long jumper
put Detroit ahead 95-93.

"This is probably the best win for us all year because we did
gut it out," Brown said. "They could have packed it in."

After Prince's floater over two Sixers, Korver missed a
3-pointer that would've put the Sixers ahead and Kenny Thomas
missed a jumper in the final seconds.

Iverson deferred to his teammates on the possession, but didn't
regret it.

"It was perfect," Iverson said. "I'd take it anytime. I'd
take the shot Kenny had.

"You can make all the excuses you want, they were just
better."

Ben Wallace had 14 points and 12 rebounds and Billups added 12
points and nine assists for the Pistons. Reserve Lindsey Hunter
scored 11 and Antonio McDyess had 10 points and seven rebounds.

Thomas had 16 points and 12 rebounds, Marc Jackson scored 14 and
Korver added 11 off the bench. Reserve Corliss Williamson, who
helped the Pistons win the NBA title last season, had 10 points.

Iverson, with a sore ankle and shoulder, played 44 minutes a
night after playing all 48 minutes and scoring 32 points in a win
against Toronto.

The Pistons led 51-42 at halftime and 76-66 after the third.

"Tough loss," Sixers coach Jim O'Brien said. "It was a good
comeback by us. We just couldn't knock down the necessary shots. I
give credit to the Pistons for knocking down big shots when they
had their backs to the wall."

Game notes
Samuel Dalembert, out for a third straight game with a hip
injury, did not travel with the Sixers because he has the flu. ...
Both teams wore retro uniforms. Detroit had lightning bolts on its
shorts and jerseys like it did during the 1979-80 season, and
Philadelphia sported Syracuse Nationals uniforms from the 1954-55
season. ... The Pistons host Phoenix on Monday afternoon. ...
Wallace had at least 10 rebounds for the eighth straight game.