Pistons 97, Cavaliers 79

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Tayshaun Prince's post-Olympic slump might finally be over.

Prince, averaging just seven points on 31 percent shooting, scored 17 points in 29 minutes Wednesday night, and the Pistons beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 97-79.

The Cavaliers were playing without LeBron James, who was in uniform but took a planned night off.

Prince won gold with the United States in Beijing, but has struggled since getting back to the United States in time for Detroit's training camp. Before Wednesday, he hadn't scored more than 12 in any of Detroit's six exhibition games.

"Tonight, I got a lot of open looks in the corner, and I was able to knock some of them down," he said. "I was just taking the shots that came to me."

Prince had 11 points during Detroit's third-quarter run, including two 3-pointers, which matched his total in the first six games.

"We had a lot of guys getting open shots tonight, and I was the one that made mine," he said. "We did a nice job of moving the ball and creating things."

The game was 40-40 at the half, but Prince helped Detroit outscore the Cavaliers 28-16 in the third quarter -- something that coach Michael Curry credited to his defense.

"We were making plays and rebounding the ball, and that let us get into transition," Curry said. "We had played pretty well in the first half, but we weren't rebounding the way we need to. In the second half, we got more aggressive and rebounded the ball."

The Pistons were led in scoring by Rodney Stuckey's 20, but the defense-oriented Curry wasn't completely happy with his second-year guard's performance.

"His first three or four possessions weren't good," he said. "He was back on his heels and they were going by him. Once he started to get aggressive, he was quite good."

Four of Detroit's five starters shot at least 60 percent from the floor -- the exception being Rasheed Wallace's 2-for-12 performance.

"At the beginning of the game, we were running some plays to get Rip and Tay involved, and in the second half, we were running some stuff for Sheed," Curry said. "Sheed had some open looks, and he'll knock down those shots most of the time."

The Pistons play their final preseason game on Thursday, and Curry only expects to play his starters limited minutes.

"If I play them more, and someone sprains his ankle, people are going to ask why I was playing them in the eighth preseason game," he said. "We'll give the young guys a lot of looks tomorrow."

Daniel Gibson led the James-less Cavs with 16 points and Mo Williams scored 14 in the first half. Cleveland finishes its preseason schedule Friday against Washington.

"I feel like I've been going good in this preseason," Gibson said. "I'm working on having more to offer than just shooting 3s, and now I feel like I can do a lot of things on the floor. It's time for me to come into my own."

Coach Mike Brown was happy with Gibson's outing.

"There weren't a ton of bright spots tonight, but he showed that he has worked his tail off in the offseason," he said. "Now he has the ability to get by his guy and also finish."

The Pistons blocked nine shots, including four by Amir Johnson, and Brown thought Detroit's size bothered his team.

"There were a ton of times when we got the ball around the rim with what seemed like good looks, and then because we were worried about them blocking us, we went into a pump-fake-a-thon," he said. "In the regular season, we have to take those shots and go into their bodies."