Pistons send 76ers to 11th straight lossDec 10, 2009 - 4:01 AM By DAN GELSTON AP Sports Writer
PHILADELPHIA(AP) -- A.I. and the 76ers went home losers again.
"It's going to have to be one of the best games ever from us in order to win," Allen Iverson said.
They sure didn't play one against Detroit.
Rodney Stuckey scored 27 points and hit the winner with 8.7 seconds left to lead the injury-plagued Pistons to a 90-86 win over Philadelphia on Wednesday night, the 76ers' 11th straight loss.
New Jersey and Minnesota are the only teams with worse records than the Sixers. The Sixers haven't won since Nov. 18 vs. Charlotte and they've lost by five or less points six times during the skid.
Stuckey had the ball stripped by Andre Iguodala, but he grabbed the loose ball and tossed it in for the go-ahead basket with 1 second left on the shot clock.
Iguodala went for the win, but his open 3-point attempt was no good. He scored 18 points.
Pistons coach John Kuester said Stuckey was the right player to take the shot.
"No question I want the ball in his hands," he said. "You saw a lot of growth in a young man. I've been telling people about how good he can be. He can be one of the best guards in the league and he showed it tonight."
Iverson, once the best guard in the league, scored 11 points in his second game with the Sixers. He hit the tying jumper with 1:06 left that made it 86-all.
Iverson is 0-5 this season - three losses with Memphis; two with the 76ers. Iverson missed seven of 10 shots from the floor and had three assists.
"It's going to get better," Iverson said. "This is one of these times when you find out what type of character you have as men."
The Pistons won without their top three stars. Guard Ben Gordon sat out with a sprained left ankle, and they had been playing without Richard Hamilton (ankle) and Tayshaun Prince (back).
"Without three of our best players to get a win on the road like this is always a good thing. It will help build confidence," Pistons center Kwame Brown said.
Stuckey and Jonas Jerebko were sensational in the fourth quarter and rallied against a struggling Sixers team looking for a break.
Jerebko made all three baskets in the fourth quarter - and all three were clutch. He sank Detroit's first 3 of the game after seven misses that pulled the Pistons within one; another jumper that kept the deficit at one; and a 15-footer that gave them an 84-82 lead.
Iverson, who played 33 minutes as he tries to work his way into game shape, tied it for his first big shot in his second stint with the Sixers.
The Sixers blew a prime shot at going ahead when they missed two easy looks at the basket, the second one a tip by Samuel Dalembert that fell short.
That set the scene for Stuckey to come through. Stuckey's emergence was a big reason why the Pistons felt they could trade Chauncey Billups to Denver for Iverson last season.
Stuckey went up for the shot, but Iguodala was in his face to knock the ball free. Stuckey pounced on the loose ball and tossed up a little fade that went through for the winner.
Iverson deferred to Iguodala on the final shot. No good and the Sixers slumped home losers again.
"We got everything that we wanted on that last play and more," Iverson said. "The shot just didn't go in. I'll take that same shot every time. He had a good look."
The Sixers were counting on Iverson's marquee name to serve as a box office. They drew 20,000-plus in his homecoming Monday night, but attendance plummeted to 12,136 against the Pistons. That's just a tick more than the 11,965 they averaged in their first eight home games.
Iverson blocked the first shot of the game, stripped Ben Wallace of the ball at the top of the key that led to a Sixers basket, and intercepted a pass as he was falling out of bounds during a frantic first quarter.
He's still looking to get his legs under him after long stretches of inactivity as a non-factor until the fourth.
Iverson shed no tears nor did he exchange emotional hugs in his first game against the Pistons. He complained last season once the Pistons made him a reserve and eventually had his season cut short because of a back injury.
He did not play in the postseason and the Pistons let his $20-plus million contract expire.
Jerebko finished with 17 points, Jason Maxiell had 12 and Wallace grabbed 12 rebounds.
Dalembert had 17 points and 11 rebounds for the Sixers and Brand scored 17 points.
NOTES: The Pistons beat the Sixers for the fourth straight time. ... The Sixers were without G Jrue Holiday (shoulder). ... The Pistons made more free throws (21) than the Sixers attempted (19).
FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
--- --- --- --- -----
DETROIT 18 24 25 23 90
PHILADELPHIA 16 26 21 23 86 FINAL
HIGH SCORERS: DET - RODNEY STUCKEY 27, JONAS JEREBKO 17,
JASON MAXIELL 12
PHI - ANDRE IGUODALA 18, ELTON BRAND 17,
SAMUEL DALEMBERT 17
Dec 9 9:31 PM
PHILADELPHIA 63 0:00 LEFT, 3RD QTR
Dec 9 8:54 PM
PHILADELPHIA 42 HALFTIME
Dec 9 8:14 PM
PHILADELPHIA 16 END, 1ST QTR
Dec 9 7:37 PM
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