for this game

Green carrries 76ers past Pistons

Apr 16, 2007 - 2:02 AM AUBURN HILLS, Michigan (Ticker) -- Willie Green must have been tired of singing the same old Motown blues.

Green had 26 points and seven assists as the Philadelphia 76ers avoided a season-series sweep with a 102-91 victory over the playoff-bound Detroit Pistons.

A native of Detroit, Green connected on 13-of-24 shots to help the Sixers snap their five-game losing streak at the Palace of Auburn Hills.

"I really like coming home and playing against some great competitors like the Pistons," Green said. "Coming home and playing in front of my family and friends and hometown fans, it makes it special. I had about 50 people here."

"He made shots and he made plays," 76ers coach Maurice Cheeks said. "That's what we need when he's out on the floor with the young guys."

Steven Hunter had 16 points and eight rebounds and Andre Miller added 12 and nine assists for Philadelphia, which shot 47 percent (45-of-94) and has won four of its last five.

"We wanted to finish strong because we don't want to go out like losers," Hunter said. "Everybody played loose and contributed. Guys are working on different things. Everyone is trying to work on their game and get better for next year."

For the second straight game, Pistons coach Flip Saunders rested the majority of his starters, giving added minutes to second-year forward Amir Johnson, who finished with 12 points, 10 boards and six blocks for his first career double-double.

"We wanted to see him (Johnson) play and we wanted to give him the opportunity to play some with that main group where those guys are pretty much locked in and there's going to be a little more consistency with what we're doing," Saunders said.

"He still has a way to go. He did some very positive things. He had some blocked shots. He missed some easy shots he normally doesn't miss, but he did some positive things. It's a process, but that's the advantage of these games right now for him."

Taken as the 26th pick in the second round directly out of high school in 2005, Johnson was playing in his sixth game this season after spending time between Detroit and the D-League.

"It was pretty tough. It's not like the D-league," Johnson said. "It's another level, you can't shoot over people like I do in the D-league. Rasheed (Wallace) said you can't shoot over people, but I never gave up on the shot, I just kept going at it so I had to pump fake."

The 6-9 Johnson averaged 18.9 points, 9.7 rebounds and 3.1 blocks in the NBDL this season.

"It's taken me two years to get comfortable with my game and get familiar with the NBA, but I'm getting better and better," Johnson said. "Hopefully, next year I can get some more minutes."

Earlier this week, Detroit (51-29) wrapped up its second straight Eastern Conference title and fifth Central Division crown in six years.

Tayshaun Prince scored 15 points and Carlos Delfino added 11 off the bench for Detroit, which was outscored, 50-26, in the paint.

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