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DETROIT 112, MINNESOTA 103

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) -- Nazr Mohammed isn't putting any
pressure on himself to fill the shoes of former Detroit Pistons
star Ben Wallace.

But the eight-year NBA veteran, who signed as a free agent with
Detroit during the offseason after Wallace left for a bigger payday
with the Chicago Bulls, hopes to play a key role in the Pistons'
bid for an NBA championship.

Mohammed scored 20 points and had six rebounds and Tayshaun
Prince added 16 points and seven boards to help the Pistons (4-1)
beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 112-103 on Wednesday night.

It was Mohammed's highest point total of the preseason. He was
7-of-12 from the floor and 6-of-6 at the free-throw line -- where
Wallace usually struggled.

"I'm just happy to be here. The guys have helped me out a
lot," Mohammed said. "I'm not here to replace Ben. I'm here to
help us in any way I can."

Pistons coach Flip Saunders said he was pleased with Mohammed.

"He's doing what we thought he could do," Saunders said.
"He's been very consistent. He's blending in well with our other
four starters."

Mike James led the Timberwolves (2-2) with 15 points, while
Kevin Garnett had 14 points and 10 rebounds.

Minnesota coach Dwane Casey used Garnett, a starter in the last
nine NBA All-Star games, for 28 minutes.

"He's going to have his best year," Casey predicted. "He
still has his juices flowing. I don't see where his skills have
diminished at all. We have a hard time getting him out of a
practice session."

Prince scored nine points in the first quarter, when the Pistons
opened up a 31-23 lead.

Reserve Jason Maxiell, who finished with 14 points, scored 10 in
the second quarter to help put the Pistons ahead 64-48 at halftime.

Detroit was 23-of-39 (59 percent) from the floor in the first
half, while the Timberwolves were 19-of-42. Detroit stretched its
lead to an many as 22 points early in the third quarter, when a
layup by Richard Hamilton made in 72-50.

"I think we can contend for the title," Mohammed said.
"Except for Ben, we basically have most of the team returning from
last year."

The Pistons were 39-of-76 from the floor for the game, while
Minnesota was 37-of-74. Minnesota had a 46-39 rebounding edge.

Game notes
Wednesday's game at Van Andel Arena was a sellout with an
attendance of 10,851. ... Detroit is 2-0 against Minnesota in the
preseason. The Pistons beat the Timberwolves 101-96 on Friday in
Omaha, Neb. ... Saunders, in his second year with the Pistons,
coached the Timberwolves from 1995 to 2005.