Pistons end 11-game slide, beat Sixers 124-103
He couldn’t miss once the game started.
“It’s been a rough year for me,” said Villanueva, who was 8 for 11 from the field, including 4 of 6 from 3-point territory. “But I never lose confidence in myself. It’s just been one of those years. I’m not making excuses.”
Jonas Jerebko(notes) added 11 points and Will Bynum(notes) had 10 as the Pistons shot a season-high 63 percent from the field. They also shattered their season high for points, eclipsing the 110 they had reached three times.
Detroit halted a double-digit losing skid for the second time in 2009-10. The Pistons dropped 13 in a row from Dec. 15 to Jan. 11.
“Our guys made a conscious effort to play defense,” Pistons coach John Kuester said.
Marreese Speights(notes) scored 21 points and Jodie Meeks(notes) 19 for the struggling Sixers, who have lost four straight. Andre Iguodala(notes) and Lou Williams had 12 apiece, while Jrue Holiday(notes) added 11.
“Too bad there’s not a Phillies game or another (Donovan) McNabb trade to keep you guys occupied,” Sixers coach Eddie Jordan said. “It was just a poor performance and no excuse.”
Jordan limited the minutes for several of his starters, including Elton Brand(notes) and Samuel Dalembert(notes). Brand had a subpar game again with two rebounds in 12 minutes. In last Saturday’s 128-123 overtime loss to Toronto, Brand went without a rebound for the first time in 713 career games.
Dalembert (12 minutes) and Brand were criticized for their effort and defense by Jordan after the game.
“He’s the coach and he’s the boss,” Dalembert said. “He’s not happy and we’re not happy. I’m out there trying hard and hustling. I don’t have a problem with the coach.”
Detroit built an 18-point advantage in the fourth quarter when Jerebko’s layup pushed it to 104-86.
The Sixers never got the deficit under 10 the rest of the way.
The Pistons were already depleted with injuries to guard Richard Hamilton(notes) along with forwards Jason Maxiell(notes) and Chris Wilcox(notes). Then Stuckey limped off the court with 5:11 remaining in the third quarter after crashing to the court following a driving layup.
Stuckey—who was elbowed in the left rib—hit the free throw, left for the locker room and was replaced by Gordon. Stuckey returned at the start of the fourth.
In addition to Villanueva, forward Austin Daye(notes) missed Detroit’s charter flight. They took commercial flights and arrived at the game in time. Both players initially came off the bench in the first half.
“It’s great to get a win,” Villanueva said. “I haven’t seen a locker room like this in a while. Guys are actually smiling.”
The Sixers shot 60 percent from the field in the first half while Detroit was close behind at 56 percent. The teams went into halftime tied at 61.
NOTES: Sixers guard Rodney Carney(notes) (right big toe) and forward Thaddeus Young(notes) (broken right thumb) were inactive. … The Pistons shot 68 percent from the field in the first quarter. … Detroit committed only 10 turnovers.