Prince leads Pistons to win in debut for CurryOct 30, 2008 - 4:00 AM By Chuck Klonke PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
AUBURN HILLS, Michigan (Ticker) -- New Detroit Pistons coach Michael Curry said that he intends to rest his starters more this year. If the season opener is any indication, he'll be able to carry out his plan.
Detroit got 38 points from its bench en route to a 100-94 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night.
"We want everyone, when they come into the game, to be ready to attack," Curry said. "It'll be something a little different for our veterans, because they've been used to playing themselves into the game."
In his debut, Curry was happy to be on the right side of the final score.
"I'm just glad to win anytime, whether it's my first game of many or just the fact that we were at home," Curry said. "You always want to start out with a win and establish your home court. It was good that we played pretty good basketball for most of the game."
Tayshaun Prince scored 19 points and Richard Hamilton added 15 to offset a 33-point performance by the Pacers' Danny Granger.
"I thought Tayshaun did really good down the stretch and throughout the game," Curry said. "He was aggressive a lot of the time and, when we needed baskets, we were able to isolate him in the post."
In the past, Prince hasn't been a primary option on offense, but that's expected to change this season.
"We have a lot of opportunities to get the ball in different positions on the floor with the different plays that we have," Prince said. "It's just a matter of making shots."
Detroit led 23-17 after the first quarter as Prince and Hamilton combined for 17 points. The Pistons scored the last five points of the first half to lead by 10 points at the break and never trailed during the second half.
Walter Herrmann, who saw little action a year ago for the Pistons, came off the bench in the second quarter and scored eight points, including a pair of 3-pointers.
"It's tough for anybody to come into the game and hit his first two 3-point shots," said Prince, who was spelled by Herrmann. "When you can do that, it's a huge plus for the team."
Detroit ended the third quarter with a 15-6 run to turn a two-point lead into a 75-64 advantage going into the final quarter. Prince scored seven points in the closing spurt.
The Pistons stretched their lead to 80-64 early in the fourth quarter, but the Pacers responded with a 13-2 spurt that sliced the margin to 82-77 with 7:02 remaining.
Herrmann then made a reverse layup and Rasheed Wallace tipped in a missed 3-pointer by Chauncey Billups to put Detroit ahead, 86-77.
Detroit never could put Indiana away as Granger's 3-pointer cut the Pacers' deficit to 96-92 with 24 seconds remaining. But Hamilton made four straight from the line to seal the victory.
"It's always good to get that first game out of the way, whether it's at home or on the road," Billups said. "There's always a lot of nerves and anticipation. You make more mistakes than you probably should."
Indiana shot 49 percent (33-of-67) and made 24-of-29 from the line - outscoring Detroit by 10 from the stripe - but were hurt by 21 turnovers.
"The difference in the game was the turnover differential and the offensive glass," Indiana coach Jim O'Brien said. "We shot (49) percent and we got to the line 13 times more than they did, but we shot ourselves in the foot.
"We executed a lot of our gameplan and we had a nice tempo going at times, but when you turn the ball over and give up 15 offensive rebounds, you are never going to beat that team."
Granger agreed with his coach's observations.
"That's the tale of the game - we turned the ball over and we couldn't get them off the glass," he said. "If we fix those two parts of the game, it might be a different story.
"I think the positive is that is a really good team, and we did a good job of hanging with them and withstanding their pressure. We made too many mistakes to win, but we know those are things we can improve."
DETROIT 100 FINAL
Oct 29 10:37 PM
DETROIT 75 END, 3RD QTR
Oct 29 9:52 PM
DETROIT 50 HALFTIME
Oct 29 9:10 PM
DETROIT 23 END, 1ST QTR
Oct 29 8:38 PM
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