Pistons 76, 76ers 66
PHILADELPHIA (AP)—Larry Brown sat deep in his chair, arms folded and a disgusted look on his face. The Hall of Fame coach wasn’t pleased with his team’s performance, but his former club played even worse.
“We haven’t been winning games like this. We haven’t been able to put teams away,” Brown said. “I wasn’t happy with some of the things we did, but we finished it out.”
Kenny Thomas had 10 points and 18 rebounds, and Eric Snow added 12 points for Philadelphia, which was without Allen Iverson because of a shoulder injury. Iverson, tied for the NBA’s scoring lead, was replaced by Aaron McKie, who had two points.
Philadelphia tied its second-lowest point total since 1954-55. The Sixers shot 30.1 percent (25-for-83).
“Without AI, our guys gave us a legitimate shot to win,” Sixers interim coach Chris Ford said.
Brown again was booed in his second return to Philadelphia since leaving the Sixers to coach Detroit last spring. He spent six often-turbulent seasons in Philadelphia, helping rebuild a struggling franchise and often clashing with Iverson. After the game, Iverson greeted Brown in the coach’s room.
In his second full game with the Pistons since a three-team trade brought him to Detroit last week, Rasheed Wallace was called for a technical foul in the third quarter, and his constant complaints to officials drew jeers from the crowd. A Philadelphia native, he joked with some fans as he walked off the court following a timeout in the third.
“It’s great to have a big guy like him who can score,” Hamilton said. “I really love our team now.”
The Sixers, competing for the final playoff spot in the East, are 2-3 under Ford.
Philadelphia, down by 18 in the third quarter, cut the deficit to 67-63 on a 3-pointer by Greg Buckner with 5:36 left. A spectacular block by Prince on a breakaway layup attempt by Snow prevented Philadelphia from getting within two points, and the Pistons scored nine of the last 11 points.
The Pistons used an 11-0 run to break the game open in the third. A driving layup by Prince and a jumper by Hamilton put Detroit ahead 58-40. But poor shooting and turnovers by the Pistons allowed the Sixers to get back in it.
The Sixers outscored Detroit 12-2 to close the second quarter, getting to 43-35 at halftime. Robinson began the run with two jumpers, and Willie Green finished it with a layup.
“We gave a good effort, but we just didn’t capitalize at the end,” Greensaid.
The Pistons were fined $200,000 by the NBA for using Rasheed Wallace and Mike James last Friday night before the league finalized the trade. … Snow, Buckner, Thomas and Ben Wallace also got technical fouls. … Detroit played its fifth game in seven days. … Sixers C Derrick Coleman (hand) is expected to miss another two weeks. C Marc Jackson (hand, foot) could be out two to four more weeks. … In the fourth quarter, fans began chanting, “We want Korver!” The rookie 3-point specialist played just four minutes for Philadelphia, before entering with 8:27 left. … Detroit beat Philadelphia in six games in the East semifinals last season. … Thomas didn’t start becausehe was late to the morning shootaround.