Prince carries Pistons over lowly 76ersMar 21, 2007 - 5:01 AM AUBURN HILLS, Michigan (Ticker) -- Tayshaun Prince helped put a big smile on teammate Chris Webber's face.
Prince scored 30 points to lead four players in double figures as the Detroit Pistons coasted to a 96-75 victory over the slumping Philadelphia 76ers.
Following two-plus seasons with the 76ers, Webber did not want to be included in the 76ers' rebuilding process after the club traded Allen Iverson, and asked for a buyout of his contract.
"There wasn't any extra juice," Webber said. "It was good seeing the guys again. I'm still friends with the guys on the team. I'm just glad we won."
Webber quickly signed with the Pistons for the remainder of the season to help Detroit (43-23) open a 2 1/2-game edge over Cleveland (41-26) for first place in the Eastern Conference.
At 6-9, Prince made 13-of-20 shots to reach the 30-point plateau for the third time in his career. He also added six rebounds, four assists and three steals.
"I got off to a good start and made a few layups," Prince said. "When I get off to a good start I get into a rhythm."
"Tayshaun is so athletic and he's so long," Pistons coach Flip Saunders said. "They switch a lot of pick-and-rolls, so he's going to have a smaller guy on him. We can run our offense through him and let other guys play off him."
With a six-point lead in the third quarter, the Pistons opened things up with an impressive 20-2 burst to bridge the fourth period, making it 84-60 at the 8:15 mark.
"As the game progressed our defensive intensity picked up," Saunders said. "We got into our swarm mode in the third and fourth quarters and basically took control of the game."
Detroit's defense held Philadelphia to just 37 percent (29-of-77) from the floor and forced 17 turnovers.
"Our defense is something that we hang our hat on," Webber said. "That's what we rely on. You can count on our defense every night. Counting on defense is a luxury. It just shows that we grind it out, stick to it and play our type of basketball."
Richard Hamilton scored 18 points and Ronald Murray had 12 and seven assists for the Pistons, who shot 51 percent (39-of-77) from the field and scored 40 points in the paint.
Willie Green netted 20 points and Andre Miller chipped in 16 for Philadelphia, which has lost four of its last five games since a season-high seven-game winning streak.
"I think we still have some fight, although we didn't respond (Tuesday)," Green said. "We have to develop that mentality that we haven't had the last two games."
76ers swingman Andre Iguodala struggled for the second straight game, scoring just six points on 3-of-8 shooting. He also was held to just six points in Sunday's loss to Houston.
DETROIT 96 FINAL
Mar 20 9:53 PM
DETROIT 70 END, 3RD QTR
Mar 20 9:23 PM
DETROIT 49 HALFTIME
Mar 20 8:38 PM
DETROIT 26 END, 1ST QTR
Mar 20 8:07 PM
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