Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 3)

Series starts 11/2

Game 1: Wednesday, November 2nd
Game 2: Friday, February 3rd
Game 3: Wednesday, March 29th

Pistons 87

(39-6, 18-4 away)

76ers 80

(23-23, 15-10 home)

Coverage: CSN

8:00 PM ET, February 3, 2006

Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA

1 2 3 4 T
DET 29 20 19 1987
PHI 18 24 18 2080

Top Performers

Detroit: R. Hamilton 30 Pts, 6 Reb, 4 Ast

Philadelphia: C. Webber 17 Pts, 9 Reb, 5 Ast, 2 Stl

Hamilton nets 30 as Pistons inch closer to 40-win mark

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- The only frustrating part of the night for Rasheed Wallace was filling all the ticket requests.

Once the hometown fans had their seats, Wallace and the rest of the Pistons gave them their money's worth.

Richard Hamilton scored 30 points, Wallace added 20 and the Detroit Pistons held on to beat the feisty, short-handed Philadelphia 76ers 87-80 Friday night.

Wallace cooled after a strong first half, but hit a couple of big baskets in the fourth, delighting the Philly fans who came to cheer on the nearby Simon Gratz High graduate.

"I just try to satisfy everybody because I have friends and family who don't get a chance to see me play in person," he said. "I lost count (with the ticket requests)."

The 76ers played without Allen Iverson, who missed his fourth straight game with injured ankles. Iverson, who has a sprained left ankle and a bone bruise on his right ankle, was going to travel and try to play Saturday night at Cleveland, Philadelphia coach Maurice Cheeks said.

This one never had the feel of a tight game. Instead, most of the fourth quarter was pretty much the Pistons pushing the lead to double digits, having the Sixers answer with a couple of baskets, then having the Pistons come right back.

While the Sixers scrapped and fought for loose balls and pumped their fists when they thought they hit a big basket, Detroit never seemed threatened.

"It's just veteran play," Wallace said. "We knew what we had to do get a couple of shots, hit some big shots and do the things we've been doing all season."

With a fourth-quarter lineup that included seldom-used Shavlik Randolph and 19-year-old rookie Louis Williams, the Sixers never let this one get away against the team with the NBA's best record.

Williams, who has suddenly seen some playing time in Iverson's absence, hit a jumper that pulled the Sixers to 69-63 midway through the fourth after they were down 13 at one point. Williams was fouled on a fast break the next time down and sank one of two free throws to make it a five-point game.

But the Sixers just couldn't overcome the savvy Pistons, who have played in two straight NBA Finals. Wallace sank his first basket of the second half to make it 81-71. Hamilton hit a baseline jumper and Wallace added another baseline basket that gave the Pistons an 85-75 lead.

A steal by Chris Webber briefly rallied the Sixers when it led to Andre Iguodala's dunk -- one that won't win him any style points in the NBA slam dunk contest -- but Ben Wallace's inbounds heave the length of the court to Tayshaun Prince made it 87-80 and the fans started filing for the exit.

"He throws the long pass. He didn't panic," Cheeks said. "Those teams and guys like that understand about playing the game and not hurrying."

Webber scored 17 points, Iguodala had 13 points, and Samuel Dalembert finished with 10 points and 11 rebounds for the Sixers, who missed a chance to move into a tie for first place with New Jersey in the Atlantic Division.

"I was looking in their huddle, they were laughing, joking, they knew they were going to come out with the win," Salmons said. "There's just that confidence of been there, done that. They know how to win games. They're not worried."

Prince finished with 16 points and Chauncey Billups had 14 assists to help the Pistons win the first of a three-game road trip, even if it wasn't their most inspired effort.

"When you play 82 games, it's tough to play at a super, super level every game," coach Flip Saunders said.

Rasheed Wallace and Hamilton did the bulk of the scoring in the first half, combining to go 14-for-23 from the floor for 30 points to give the Pistons a 49-42 lead. The Pistons had assists on 17 of their 21 baskets in the half.

Game notes

Ben Wallace feels the Pistons-Pacers game for Saturday is missing some luster, not because Indiana traded brawl-instigator Ron Artest, but because the Pacers are no longer among the Eastern Conference elite. "Regardless of who's playing with who, when two of the top teams come together in this league for the top spots it's always going to be an exciting battle," he said. "Once you lose that, you some of the edge. The game loses some of the steam." ... The Sixers scored less than 100 points for the fourth straight game and eighth time in the last 10.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 87 80
FGM-FGA 37-85 (.435) 36-70 (.514)
3PM-3PA 3-17 (.176) 1-4 (.250)
FTM-FTA 10-15 (.667) 7-12 (.583)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 14-36 9-41
Assists 28 22
Turnovers 7 16
Steals 5 3
Blocks 2 1
Fast Break Points 12 11
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 12 (0/0) 15 (1/0)
Largest Lead 13 4

Top Performers

Richard Hamilton Hamilton
Points: 30
Reb: 6
Ast: 4
Stl: 0
Blk: 0
Chris Webber Webber
Points: 17
Reb: 9
Ast: 5
Stl: 2
Blk: 0