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Prince, Hamilton carry Pistons past lowly 76ers

Jan 10, 2007 - 4:18 AM PHILADELPHIA (Ticker) -- A career performance by Tayshaun Prince was all the Detroit Pistons needed.

Prince scored a career-high 33 points and Richard Hamilton added 12 of his 22 in the third quarter as the Pistons rolled to a 98-89 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers.

A fourth-year forward, Prince connected on 13-of-18 shots - including 5-of-6 from 3-point range - and pulled down five rebounds.

"The first couple of shots I missed on a three, but after that I got a couple of easy baskets and I got to the line," Prince said. "If I get a couple of paint buckets and I get to the line, I'm capable of going on runs like that.

"The past four or five games, I haven't been shooting well. Once I knocked a couple down, I knew that it was going to be that kind of night."

Hamilton has stepped up his scoring without backcourt mate Chauncey Billups, who missed his fourth straight game due to an injured right calf. On Tuesday, Hamilton shot 11-of-16 and is averaging 26.7 points in his last four games.

"With Chauncey being out and Lindsey (Hunter) as well, we've been going to (Hamilton) a lot and try to have him put us over the hump," Prince said.

Detroit used a 14-6 burst to open the third quarter, forging a 61-50 advantage when Hamilton scored on a driving layup with 7:17 remaining.

"We got to a great start in the second half," Prince said. "We got some easy shots."

The Pistons shot a blistering 83 percent (15-of-18) from the floor in the quarter and outscored the Sixers, 33-20.

"We just tried to let the offense come to us," Hamilton said. "I think we did a great job of executing our offense. We were getting the shot we wanted to shoot."

Flip Murray had 12 points and a career-best 12 assists for Detroit, which has won 10 of the last 11 meetings against Philadelphia.

"The chemistry with Flip is getting a lot better," Prince said. "It's going to take a few games. He has the job to get himself and everybody else involved and I thought that he did an unbelievable job of doing that."

Pistons forward and Philadelphia native Rasheed Wallace came off the bench for the first time this season. Jason Maxiell started and had six points and two rebounds in 18 minutes.

"I kind of like the way we played as far as bringing him off the bench," Detroit coach Flip Saunders said. "He didn't score as much, but I thought defensively he showed good energy and I thought he played pretty spirited."

"It was cool for me, I don't have a problem with it," Wallace said. "I might ask him (Saunders) to do it again just to give us a spark off the bench and maybe try to come into some consistency. I had no problem with that at all. I knew why and that wasn't a problem."

Willie Green scored 16 points and Samuel Dalembert collected 14, 17 rebounds and four blocks for the Sixers, who have dropped four of their last five outings.

"Excellent game," 76ers coach Maurice Cheeks said. "The energy (Green) displayed out there on the court, running up and down the floor, blocking shots; he had four blocked shots, we just need to get it on a more consistent basis. Unfortunately we didn't win the game with an effort like that, but if we get more efforts like that out of him, we'll be fine."

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