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Prince leads Pistons past Heat in season opener

Nov 2, 2007 - 4:13 AM MIAMI (Ticker) -- Tayshaun Prince and the Detroit Pistons continued the Miami Heat's dreadful losing streak.

Prince had a career-high 34 points and tied a career high with 12 rebounds as the Pistons pulled away from the Heat for a 91-80 victory in the season opener for both teams on Thursday.

It was the 14th consecutive loss - including the preseason - for the Heat, who were defeated in their home opener for the second consecutive year. Miami lost the last two regular-season games last season before being swept in the first round of the playoffs by the Chicago Bulls.

"It was a very disappointing way to start the season obviously," Heat coach Pat Riley said. "The same things that bothered or hurt us in the preseason are the same things that happened to us tonight."

The Heat were also winless in preseason play, losing all seven of their contests.

Chauncey Billups added 19 points and 11 assists for the Pistons, who used a 12-0 run to break the game open.

"It was beautiful," Billups said. "Guys were locked in and focused and sticking to the game plan."

With the score tied, 62-62, with 1:13 left in the third quarter, Detroit held the Heat scoreless for nearly 6 1/2 minutes as they took a 74-62 advantage with 7:39 to play.

"We talked about playing some zone, making them run, and making it difficult for them to lock in," Pistons coach Flip Saunders said.

Prince scored 16 of his points in the first half as the Pistons took a 48-42 lead after two quarters. The lanky swingman finished the game shooting 13-of-23 from the field.

"It really doesn't matter," Prince said of the career night. "What matters is going out there and playing aggressively and helping the team get it done. You get to a point in the game where you know things are working and you build on that."

Ricky Davis led Miami in his first game with the Heat, scoring 23 points on 10-of-19 shooting.

Shaquille O'Neal was held scoreless in the first half and finished with nine points and seven rebounds in 29 minutes.

"We made way too many mistakes," O'Neal said. "We didn't play well when they pulled that zone out, but we'll get it."

Both teams were without their leading scorers from last season. Miami's Dwyane Wade is still recovering from shoulder and knee surgeries, and Detroit's Richard Hamilton did not make the trip due to personal reasons.

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