for this game

Pistons survive scare from Gordon, Clippers

Jan 5, 2009 - 1:42 AM By John Reger PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- Both the Detroit Pistons and the Los Angeles Clippers are riddled with injuries, but they are going in distinctly different directions.

The Pistons won their seventh consecutive game, handing the Clippers their seventh consecutive defeat, 88-87, on Sunday.

Rodney Stuckey scored 24 points, while Tayshaun Prince added 20 points for the Pistons.

Detroit entered the game with injuries to two starters, Rasheed Wallace (sore right foot) and Richard Hamilton (groin strain). Hamilton was put on the inactive list and Wallace didn't dress for the game.

Key reserve Antonio McDyess played despite sore ribs. He hyperextended his finger midway through the second quarter but returned, getting 15 rebounds in 23 minutes.

"I really thought Saturday I wasn't going to play," McDyess said. "I woke up today and it felt pretty good so I decided to play. Then along comes another injury. I just can't get right."

The Clippers are just as banged up. Centers Chris Kaman (sore right arch) and Zach Randolph (sore right knee) have not played in more than a week and guards Ricky Davis (sore left knee), Baron Davis (bruised tailbone), Mike Taylor (fractured thumb) and Jason Hart (sore right elbow) were all unavailable.

The game was tight throughout with 21 lead changes and 13 ties. The Clippers had a two-point lead at halftime and stayed close as the Pistons were up 67-66 entering the fourth.

"The guys we had playing for us did a great job," Clippers Coach Mike Dunleavy said. "they played hard. Defensively we did some great things."

In the fourth the Pistons began the quarter with an 11-4 run to take an eight-point lead. Stuckey scored nine of those 11 points. The Clippers were 2-8 from the field in the first seven minutes of the final quarter.

A 6-0 run by the Clippers got the margin to two, 80-78 and a short jumper by Gordon tied the game, 80-80, with 2:54 remaining.

But a Prince slam dunk and a long jumper by Allen Iverson built the lead to 86-82 with 1:20 to go. Gordon scored on a slashing layup to the basket to cut the lead to two with 1:03. Gordon then hit a short fall away jumper and was fouled, completing a three-point play to give Los Angeles an 87-86 lead with 22 seconds left.

Prince slipped with 10 seconds left and nearly turned the ball over, but called the teams' last time out.

"We ran a play and Tay kind of slipped, so we took it out of bounds," Pistons Coach Michael Curry said. "We ran a play for AI so he could come off the double and he did a great job. He won the game for us."

With 9.4 seconds Iverson slashed to the basket and sent up a lay up that was blocked by Thornton. The referee called goaltending and allowed the basket.

"I got an easy shot and then someone came from nowhere and goaltended," Iverson said. "I knew it was goaltending but what was tough for me was that it was so loud in there that I didn't know at first they had called it."

Gordon got a decent look for the win, but his game winning jumper from the line as time ran out clanged off the back of the rim.

"Eric was hot all night, he played well," Thornton said. "It is just too bad his last shot didn't fall."