Prince's late dunk lifts Pistons over Nets 97-93Feb 3, 2010 - 4:20 AM By TOM CANAVAN AP Sports Writer
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J.(AP) -- With everyone back in the lineup for the first time since the start of the season, the Detroit Pistons once again found a way to win.
Tayshaun Prince slammed down a tiebreaking dunk on an inbounds play with 45.6 seconds left and the Pistons snapped a five-game losing streak with a 97-93 victory over the New Jersey Nets on Tuesday night.
"We had a full deck for the first time in a long time," Pistons coach John Kuester said. "Anytime you win, you're happy, but this was important because we had everyone back. Watching Will Bynum play as well as he did was a lift in his first game back. It's a nice feeling to get everyone back. Now, we just have to get better as a team."
The Pistons (16-31) had a lot of contributors in winning for only the fifth time in 24 games.
Richard Hamilton had 11 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter, including three free throws in the final 21.3 seconds, and the key pass on the go-ahead basket. Rodney Stuckey added 21 points and the screen on Prince's dunk, while Bynum had 10 points in his first game since being sidelined for 16 with a sprained left ankle.
"We're far from done," Hamilton said. "This is not over. We just have to get healthy. When you have all your guys, it takes a load off your shoulders. Now, we just have to play together a little, get some chemistry and we'll be all right."
Brook Lopez led New Jersey with 27 points on 11-of-16 shooting from the field. Devin Harris returned to the lineup after missing four games with a wrist injury and had 24 points and a season-high 14 assists for the Nets (4-43), who were outscored 10-2 in the final 2:22.
Courtney Lee added 15 points for New Jersey, which missed six of its last seven shots in losing its third straight.
"We definitely have to learn how to win," veteran forward Jarvis Hayes said.
The Nets, who have dropped three close games in a row, took a 91-87 lead with 2:23 to play when Kris Humphries hit a jumper from near the top of the key.
Stuckey then started Detroit's decisive run with two free throws.
After Hayes missed an open 3-pointer, Hamilton, called for a technical foul earlier in the quarter, tied the game with a jumper with 1:23 to go.
Lopez missed a jumper and Detroit then caught a break when the Nets' center stepped out of bounds trying to run down a loose rebound after a missed drive by Stuckey. The play was reviewed and the call was upheld.
Detroit players sat on the bench during the review and Kuester called the inbounds play with Hamilton throwing the ball in. Prince was lined up on the lower left baseline and Stuckey came across the lane and set a screen on Hayes, allowing Prince to grab the inbounds pass and dunk for a 93-91 lead.
"We knew who was taking the ball out," Prince said. "The ball was in Rip's hands, so you knew he was going to make a play. In a case like that, you don't want to turn the ball over on a high-risk gamble, but when it's Rip, you're able to take the risk. It's the first time I've run that play and I knew if I got open, Rip would get it there."
Hayes said the Nets showed their inexperience when none of his teammates warned him about the screen.
"I thought they were just going to lob it in to Tay and let Rip (Hamilton) come back and get the handoff," Hayes said. "I definitely didn't see the back screen coming."
Lee missed an off-balance 3-pointer on the Nets' ensuing possession and Hamilton was fouled and made two free throws with 21.3 seconds left for a 95-91 lead.
Harris lobbed a pass inside for a dunk by Lopez after the Nets' timeout to cut the lead to two, and New Jersey had a chance to tie after Hamilton made one of two free throws with 17.7 seconds left.
Harris, who was 7 of 14 from the field, however, rushed up an off-balance 3-pointer with about 12 seconds to go that missed everything. He looked at the officials after the play as though he felt he'd been fouled.
"We have to focus on those last 3 minutes," Harris said. "We're getting to that point now. We're getting stops but we have to get good looks on the other end."
Stuckey made the second of two free throws with 7.4 seconds to go and the Nets missed two more shots before the buzzer.
"We just need to get a couple of wins to get us going," said Pistons center Ben Wallace, who got his 2,000th career block. "This is a good start. If we play at a high level, good things will happen. We're still searching for a rhythm and still building that chemistry. Once we get on the same page, we'll be fine."
NOTES: Wallace is the 17th player with 2,000 blocks, the first under 6-foot-10. He is 6-9. ... Nets F Yi Jianlian left briefly in the first quarter after hurting his right shoulder. ... After four straight starts, veteran Nets G Keyon Dooling had to sit out with a lingering hip problem. ... New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia sat near the Nets' bench ... This was the first of three games between the teams this season.
NEW JERSEY 93 FINAL
Feb 2 10:02 PM
END 3RD QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
--- --- --- --- -----
DETROIT 24 19 28 71
NEW JERSEY 29 19 19 67 END 3RD QTR
HIGH SCORERS AFTER 3RD QUARTER
DET - RODNEY STUCKEY 16, TAYSHAUN PRINCE 13,
RICHARD HAMILTON 11
NJN - BROOK LOPEZ 22, DEVIN HARRIS 14,
JARVIS HAYES 11
Feb 2 9:18 PM
NEW JERSEY 48 HALFTIME
Feb 2 8:37 PM
NEW JERSEY 29 END, 1ST QTR
Feb 2 8:07 PM
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