Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 2)

Series starts 12/11

Game 1: Sunday, December 11th
Game 2: Wednesday, February 8th

Clippers 87

(29-18, 13-11 away)

Pistons 97

(40-8, 22-2 home)

Coverage: WDWB

7:30 PM ET, February 8, 2006

The Palace of Auburn Hills, Detroit, MI

1 2 3 4 T
LAC 25 15 26 2187
DET 18 30 23 2697

Top Performers

LAC: E. Brand 30 Pts, 9 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl, 2 Blk

Det: R. Wallace 19 Pts, 7 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Stl, 2 Blk

Pistons beat Clippers, end first losing streak

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) -- Tayshaun Prince might be the only Detroit starter left out when the All-Star reserves are announced Thursday.

His teammates find that hard to believe.

Prince scored 11 of his 22 points in the first five minutes of the fourth quarter, helping the Pistons pull away to a 97-87 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday night.

"He almost carried us to a victory last night, and he did it tonight," Chauncey Billups said. "He's just playing great basketball right now."

Prince scored 29 points in Tuesday's 99-98 loss in Atlanta, but his hot streak came after the coaches had already voted.

"We'll have to wait and see what happens," Pistons coach Flip Saunders said. "There's no question that he's deserving and that he's going to be an All-Star someday."

The win ended Detroit's first two-game losing streak of the season and was its seventh straight win over the Clippers.

"The last five or six games, our energy level has been down," Prince said. "That's why I knew the fourth quarter was the time to get aggressive, try to hit some shots and get to the line."

Los Angeles, which was missing Sam Cassell (back spasms), had its four-game winning streak snapped.

"I knew his back was bothering him a little bit, but tonight he didn't feel like it was good enough to go," Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy said. "It was literally right before the game."

Rasheed Wallace had 19 points for Detroit while Billups added 18 points.

Elton Brand led the Clippers with 30 points, and Cuttino Mobley added 27. Shaun Livingston, starting in place of Cassell, had a career-best 12 assists.

"We're not quite there yet," Dunleavy said. "We're definitely a playoff team, but we're not with the elite teams of the league."

Brand averaged 30.1 points on the five-game road trip.

"Elton has drastically improved his perimeter shooting," Saunders said. "He was quick-shooting us tonight -- getting rid of the ball before we could get to him."

Los Angeles scored the first four points of the fourth to pull within one, but Prince scored the next eight points, including a 3-pointer and a three-point play, to make it 79-70 with 7:28 left.

After two free throws by Mobley, Prince made his second three-point play in 26 seconds, giving Detroit a 10-point lead.

The Clippers tried to get back into the game by intentionally fouling Ben Wallace, and he missed four of six free throws, including an airball.

That let Los Angeles pull within 87-81 with 2:50 to go, and Wallace took himself out of the game at the next timeout.

"That was Ben's call," Saunders said.

Rasheed Wallace hit a 3-pointer on the next possession and the Clippers never threatened again, but at least one Piston was disappointed at the way it happened.

"I told Ben that I wished he had stayed in there," Billups said. "He's going to try to make those shots. We've got his back either way."

Brand's 17 first-quarter points gave the Clippers a 25-18 after one period, but Antonio McDyess had nine points in the second to help the Pistons to a 48-40 halftime lead.

Detroit led by as many as 11 early in the third, but the Clippers used a 12-0 run to take a one-point lead midway through the period. Mobley had six points in the surge.

Billups, though, scored seven straight points late in the period, helping Detroit build a 71-66 advantage heading into the final 12 minutes.

Game notes

Lindsey Hunter, who made his season debut on Tuesday after missing 46 games with an ankle injury, did not play on Wednesday. ... Brand has scored 17 points in a quarter against the Pistons twice this season, also doing it in the third quarter on Dec. 11. The only player to have a higher-scoring quarter against Detroit is Ricky Davis, who had 18 in the second for Boston on Nov. 15.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 87 97
FGM-FGA 37-79 (.468) 33-71 (.465)
3PM-3PA 0-6 (.000) 7-19 (.368)
FTM-FTA 13-18 (.722) 24-31 (.774)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 11-41 5-34
Assists 18 20
Turnovers 11 8
Steals 3 4
Blocks 4 5
Fast Break Points 5 9
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 27 (1/0) 18 (0/0)
Largest Lead 8 13

Top Performers

Los Angeles
Elton Brand Brand
Points: 30
Reb: 9
Ast: 1
Stl: 1
Blk: 2
Rasheed Wallace Wallace
Points: 19
Reb: 7
Ast: 2
Stl: 1
Blk: 2