Iverson grabs first win with PistonsNov 12, 2008 - 6:49 AM By Tom Galland PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
SACRAMENTO, California (Ticker) -- The Detroit Pistons have been waiting to see something positive with the arrival of Allen Iverson. On Tuesday night, they got it.
Iverson collected 30 points, nine assists and seven rebounds to lead the Pistons to a comeback victory over the Sacramento Kings, 100-92, at Arco Arena.
Tayshaun Prince added 26 points and 11 boards as the Pistons picked up their first win in three tries with Iverson aboard.
Detroit recovered from a slow start by upping its defensive effort when it mattered most, holding Sacramento to 15 points in the fourth quarter.
"I feel like in the first couple of games I wasn't as aggressive as they want me to be," Iverson said. "It's hard coming into a situation where guys have been established, been in the Eastern Conference finals six years in a row and then you come in as a major part, you just want to do the right thing.
"It's going to take a while but I'm willing. I'm up for the challenge."
The Pistons scored six straight to break an 86-86 tie midway through the fourth and looked to be in control.
Spencer Hawes scored inside for Sacramento to cut the deficit to two with 2:21 remaining, but that would be the last gasp for the Kings.
Prince converted two from the foul line and the Pistons forced Beno Udrih into a turnover at the other end. Hamilton then scored on a layup to make it 96-90 to seal the win.
"If we defend, we're going to find ways to score the basketball," Detroit coach Michael Curry said. "We're just too talented not to score the basketball."
Detroit forced six turnovers and held Sacramento to 15 shot attempts in the final quarter.
"We got stops, we made them shoot jumpers," Iverson said. "They run the pick-and-roll so well and they've got a great point guard running it. We just tried to make them take tough outside shots, and contest the shots. We were able to do that. We grabbed the lead, got up six points, and we felt like we were on our way."
"Great effort tonight," Kings coach Reggie Theus said. "We outplayed them for 42 minutes. It's a learning experience. You've got to learn how to win games down the stretch."
The win ended the Pistons' three-game losing streak against the Kings and was the first loss at home for Sacramento in four tries.
"It was everything but the finish (for us)," said Hawes, who played well with 19 points on 9-of-15 shooting. "What it came down to is we had turnovers at the end. We weren't even getting shots at the basket on a few possessions. We've got to go back, look at the film, and continue to grow.
"I think that's something we've done in these games at home."
Sacramento played without leading scorer Kevin Martin - who is expected to miss seven to 10 days with a sprained left ankle - and could not overcome the offensive loss late in the game.
After Iverson started the scoring with a jumper, the Kings blitzed the Pistons with a 14-0 run to grab early control. Mikki Moore fed Hawes for a rim-rattling dunk to close out the first quarter with Sacramento on top, 31-18, and the home crowd feeling energized.
But the veteran Pistons showed why they have been a consistent NBA title contender over the last six seasons, steadily chipping away at the lead. After Iverson buried an 18-foot jumper with 90 seconds left in the half, the game was tied at 48-48. The teams traded baskets and went into the break deadlocked at 50-50.
The two starting centers both suffered miserable nights. Sacramento's Brad Miller made just 2-of-16 shots and committed three turnovers while Detroit's Rasheed Wallace converted only 4-of-16 from the floor while scoring seven points.
SACRAMENTO 92 FINAL
Nov 12 12:32 AM
SACRAMENTO 77 END, 3RD QTR
Nov 11 11:56 PM
SACRAMENTO 50 HALFTIME
Nov 11 11:12 PM
SACRAMENTO 31 END, 1ST QTR
Nov 11 10:37 PM
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