<
>

Pistons win on night Brown leaves for surgery

ATLANTA (AP) -- The Detroit Pistons didn't have any trouble
scoring on this night.

Stopping the other team was a bit of a problem for one of the
NBA's best defensive teams.

Tayshaun Prince scored a career-high 31 points and the Pistons
bounced back from the lowest-scoring game in franchise history,
beating the Atlanta Hawks 114-108 in overtime Monday night.

Rasheed Wallace scored a season-best 28 points for the Pistons,
who shot nearly 52 percent from the field. The Hawks lost for the
15th time in 16 games despite Al Harrington's season-high 37
points.

Atlanta shot better than 49 percent and far eclipsed the normal
output against the Pistons, who were allowing just 88.8 points a
game -- second in the league to San Antonio. Tom Gugliotta hit a
3-pointer for the Hawks with 6.4 seconds left in the fourth quarter
to send the game to overtime.

"They were making shots and we were making shots," Prince
said. "We didn't establish our defense at the beginning of the
game. We didn't defend like we should have."

Just one night earlier, the Pistons failed to make a field goal
in the fourth quarter but held on for a 64-62 victory over Utah. It
was the lowest-scoring game for each franchise, and the teams
combined for an record-low 18 points in the final period.

The Pistons, who snapped a four-game road losing streak,
rebounded with their second-most points this season, eclipsed only
by 117-116 victory over Charlotte in late November that went to
double overtime.

"We just made some shots early on," Prince said. "We didn't
play well last night, but we had an idea the shots were going to
fall tonight."

Detroit played without coach Larry Brown, who underwent
additional surgery Monday related to a November hip operation. He
missed six games for the first procedure and isn't sure how long he
will be out this time.

Assistant coach Gar Heard ran the team in place of Brown.

"He'll be in the hospital a couple of more days," Heard said.
"We'll know something more [Tuesday]."

The Hawks trailed by as many as 12 before dominating the third
quarter. They outscored the Pistons 31-17, sinking 15 of 20 shots
from the field to take a 77-72 lead to the fourth.

"Al had a great game," Gugliotta said. "We executed pretty
well and got the shots we wanted, so some good things came out of
it."

Detroit rebounded quickly, beginning the fourth with a 17-4
spurt. Wallace scored nine of the first 11 points, then Richard
Hamilton capped the run by converting back-to-back three-point
plays.

But the hapless Hawks rallied again. After Hamilton hit a couple
of free throws with 15.3 seconds remaining to make it 100-97,
Gugliotta got open at the top of the key and swished the 3.

Hamilton had a chance to win it, but his pull-up jumper bounced
off the rim and the Pistons couldn't tip home the rebound.

Detroit controlled the overtime. Chauncey Billups hit a crucial
3-pointer with 2:03 remaining to make it 108-104, the shot made
possible by a couple of offensive rebounds.

Harrington fouled out on the Hawks' next possession, receiving a
standing ovation as he walked slowly to the bench.

"He and I are great friends," Prince said. "He was definitely
on his A-game tonight. He's a quick, strong guy. He can get the
shots off."

Prince followed with a short jumper, then Wallace hit a couple
of free throws to finish off the Hawks with a minute to go.

"We tightened the screws and buckled down in overtime,"
Billups said.

Prince eclipsed his previous career best of 27 points, which he
had three days earlier in a double-overtime loss at Boston. He was
13-of-19 from the field and 5-of-6 at the foul line.

Wallace made four 3-pointers in a 10-of-18 performance against
the team he played one game for last season before being traded to
the eventual NBA champions. He also had 12 rebounds -- six at the
offensive end.

Hamilton added 23 points and Billups 22.

Harrington was 17-of-28 shooting, while Lue scored 27 points for
the Hawks.

"It's a fine line between winning and losing when you're in
close games," Atlanta coach Mike Woodson said. "We just have to
find ways to figure it out."

Game notes
Before the game, the Hawks activated guard Tony Delk and
placed center Michael Stewart on the injured list because of back
spasms. ... The Hawks, who won in overtime at Toronto last Friday,
dropped to 0-3 in OT games at Philips Arena. ... The Pistons
improved to 3-4 with Heard serving as acting coach.