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Prince, Pistons top Raptors with Iverson watching

Nov 6, 2008 - 5:44 AM TORONTO (Ticker) -- Thanks to Tayshaun Prince, the absence of Allen Iverson did not mean a lack of offense for the Detroit Pistons.

Prince scored a season-high 27 points as Detroit overcame the delayed debut of new acquisition Iverson en route to a 100-93 victory at the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday.

The cornerstone piece in the Pistons' blockbuster trade with the Denver Nuggets on Monday, Iverson was prevented from suiting up due to the fact that both Chauncey Billups and Cheikh Samb have yet to undergo a physical for the Nuggets.

Despite his absence, Iverson, who ranked third in the NBA in scoring last season, did get to see his new teammates put in a strong offensive performance.

When asked about the situation with Iverson, Detroit coach Michael Curry was only concerned about the factors of the game that he could control.

"It's about being prepared to play and carrying out our game plan and we were able to do that tonight against a pretty good basketball team over there," he said.

"We are confident with whoever we have on the court."

Behind Prince, Detroit built a 66-50 lead with 6:50 remaining in the third quarter. The lanky small forward scored 25 points before the start of the fourth.

In particular, Prince went off in the second quarter, scoring 16 points as he played a great deal with the second unit.

"I knew I had to be aggressive in that quarter because when I'm out there with the second unit I've got be aggressive and make plays when the opportunities came and tonight they went in," Prince said.

According to Curry, it was an intentional move on his part to feature Prince with the reserves to get more out of him.

"We made an emphasis to put Tayshaun in a position to be more aggressive," Curry said. "We featured him a little with the second unit and he responded."

Toronto was able to rally, closing within a point on four occasions early in the fourth. However, it could not get any closer as the Raptors absorbed their first loss of the season (3-1).

"Against Detroit it's tough to get behind but this is a game of runs and we did a good job of getting back into the game," Toronto forward Chris Bosh said. "But they are a good team who know how to execute down the stretch and close out games."

The last time the hosts closed within a point was with 7:22 left, as Anthony Parker hit a 16-foot jumper that made it 83-82.

Reserve Kwame Brown answered back with a three-point play for the Pistons, and fellow bench player Walter Herrmann gave Detroit an 88-84 edge with a running bank shot after a pair of free throws by Bosh.

Prince, who finished 10-of-13 from the field, sank a jump hook with 1:05 to play for a 94-88 lead, and Richard Hamilton converted all six of his free throws down the stretch.

Hamilton scored 22 points and Rasheed Wallace added 11 and 12 rebounds for the Pistons, who ran their unbeaten start under new coach Michael Curry to 4-0.

"It was a good road win for us, they were undefeated and we had to overcome everything going on with our team and we were still able to get a win," said reserve forward Jason Maxiell, who scored six points and blocked two shots.

Bosh ended up with 26 points and Jose Calderon added 24 for the Raptors.