for this game

Pistons use big second half to even series

Apr 28, 2008 - 3:30 AM PHILADELPHIA (Ticker) -- Tayshaun Prince and the Detroit Pistons really like to procrastinate.

Prince scored 23 points as the Pistons came to life in the second half en route to a crucial 93-84 victory over the upstart Philadelphia 76ers in Game Four of their Eastern Conference first-round series on Sunday.

Rasheed Wallace collected 20 points and 10 rebounds for the Pistons, who evened the series at 2-2 with a pivotal Game Five in Detroit on Tuesday.

Detroit, which found itself with a shocking 2-1 deficit entering the contest, continued its malaise in the first half of this one. The Pistons reversed a 10-point halftime deficit by outscoring the Sixers, 34-16, in the third quarter.

"The one thing I asked at the half is, 'Are we having fun yet?'" Pistons coach Flip Sanders said. "I told the guys that we were afraid to take a shot and afraid to make a move. We came out and had a couple good things happen right. We finally executed our will defensively."

"This is the first time that we dictated the tempo in the second half," Prince said. "By doing that, it really allowed us to get back in the game within the first three minutes."

While most figured it would be raring to go after an embarrassing 95-75 loss in Game Three, Detroit took its sweet time hit on all cylinders in this one.

Looking sloppy and disinterested - much like Games One and Three - the Pistons turned the ball over regularly in the opening half, allowing the young and athletic Sixers to get out in transition en route to a 46-36 lead at halftime.

Detroit committed 25 turnovers in Game Three, which led to 29 points for the Sixers, who looked just as impressive in the first 24 minutes Sunday.

But the Pistons put that behind them after halftime, starting the third quarter with an aggressive 11-0 run - keyed by back-to-back 3-pointers by Chauncey Billups and Wallace.

"That shot has been there for us, but you can't live and die by that," Billups said. "Tonight, Rasheed got it going, hitting some big threes at the start of the third quarter. We used that and we never looked back."

"We stopped turning the ball over and used some desperation time to get back into the game," Prince said. "We started to play some smarter basketball. We moved the ball around. Once we started to play smart, we didn't turn the ball over and we made shots."

Prince, who shot 11-of-12 from the field and added six rebounds and four steals, then nailed a jumper to give the Pistons the lead, 47-46, with 9:36 left in the third.

"The funny thing about tonight was that the first shots I made I was able to beat the shot clock," Prince said. "I had good shots and I was able to attack the basket."

Sixers rookie Thaddeus Young nailed a free throw to tie the game on the ensuing possession and converted the next two baskets to forge a 51-47 lead.

But Prince and Wallace hit consecutive shots from the arc, and Jason Maxiell hit another hoop to give Detroit a 55-51 lead with 6:20 to go in the third. Antonio McDyess capped the 10-0 run with a basket to give the Pistons a six-point lead en route a 70-62 advantage after three periods.

McDyess was able to play despite being just 24 hours removed from surgery on a broken nose suffered on Friday night.

"We got good looks and once we started to get good looks, we started to make them," Prince said. "Rasheed got us going and he comes out and plays like that, it gets the team going."

"(The Pistons) came out tonight and kept fighting," Young said. "That's what veteran teams do. They're going to come out and make big shots and they have the guys who can make big shots."

Detroit, which was sluggish on the glass and did not shoot well in the first half, turned all that around in the third. In the period, the Pistons scored 13 second-chance points, nailed five 3-pointers and took advantage of seven turnovers by the Sixers.

"We always find a way to put ourselves in tough situations," Prince said. "We have to find a way to dig ourselves out. You don't want to keep doing that. Once, we got into a good rhythm, things started to go in our favor."

"The game turned just like that," 76ers coach Maurice Cheeks said. "As good as Detroit is, we gave them life in the third quarter. Their defense got better, they started making shots, and it was amazing. The flip of a switch turns, and it turned in their favor."

Andre Iguodala scored just 12 points on 4-of-16 shooting for Philadelphia, which did not have enough to come back in the final period, netting just 38 points in the second half.

"I have to try to turn it around," Iguodala said. "Hopefully, we can work some things in the offense to get me open. I need to be more patient and try to get better looks."

    DETROIT 93

    Apr 27 9:40 PM

    DETROIT 70

    Apr 27 9:01 PM

    DETROIT 36

    Apr 27 8:10 PM

    DETROIT 19

    Apr 27 7:34 PM
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    Pistons vs. 76ersApr 27 12:24 PM