Prince, Wallace help Pistons top MavericksDec 8, 2006 - 4:05 AM DALLAS (Ticker) -- Tayshaun Prince woke the Detroit Pistons from their brief funk.
Prince scored 20 points and Rasheed Wallace added 19 and nine rebounds as the Pistons ended a brief slide with a 92-82 victory over the red-hot Dallas Mavericks.
After winning a season-high eight straight games, Detroit dropped its next two contests to a pair of weaker teams in Charlotte (5-13) and Portland (7-13).
The Pistons carried a 16-point lead into the fourth quarter of this one before the Mavericks closed to within 78-69. However, Detroit regained control with an 8-1 run that was capped by Chauncey Billups' breakaway layup with five minutes remaining.
Dallas, which entered with wins in 12 of its previous 13 games, made yet another late charge to get within 88-82. But Prince converted a three-point play with 36 seconds to go, sealing the victory.
"It was a little too late, really. We should have played like that with a lot of energy and emotions earlier than that," Dallas forward Dirk Nowitzki said. "We can't get in big holes in the fourth quarter and expect to come back. Teams that are very good can't get down, especially at home, so we hung in there and kept fighting, but it wasn't enough."
With a seven-point bulge in hand, Detroit pushed its advantage to 70-54 in the third with an 11-2 surge highlighted by three 3-pointers from Wallace.
"Just moving the ball and making shots," Wallace said of the run. "They were doubling a couple of guys and we were just swinging the ball. It was just ball movement pretty much, bottom line. That's all it was, good ball movement."
"We put (Wallace) in some pick-and-rolls," Prince said. "Early in the game, he got some great looks behind the arc, and when Rasheed hits threes, it opens up the rest of his game."
Richard Hamilton scored 15 points and Billups contributed 12 and 11 assists for the Pistons, who shot 47 percent (38-of-80) from the floor and held their opponents to just 4-of-14 from the arc.
Billups' status for Friday's game at Orlando is up in the air after the point guard strained his right hamstring late in the game.
"I stayed in, but I couldn't move," Billups said. "I never had a hamstring (injury) before. It doesn't feel too bad. It's just feeling short right now."
Nowitzki had 29 points and nine rebounds and Jason Terry netted 17 for Dallas, which shot 41 percent (31-of-74).
"All of our energy was just zapped," Mavericks coach Avery Johnson said. "Hopefully we can get back to practice, get some energy back and take a look at where we made our mistakes and come back and try to play much better."
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