Score Strip

Monroe's double-double leads Pistons past Sixers

The SportsXchange

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Lawrence Frank's seat remains toasty warm, even though his team is red hot as the season winds down.

The Detroit Pistons won their fourth straight on Monday, downing the Philadelphia 76ers 109-101 at The Palace behind Greg Monroe's 27 points and 16 rebounds, but it might not have been enough to save their embattled coach. Owner Tom Gores would not reveal prior to the game whether he planned on bringing either Frank or president of basketball operations Joe Dumars back, instead saying those decisions will come soon after the season.

"I can't decide my fate, other than doing my job every single day," said Frank, who is completing the second year of a four-year contract. "I came here knowing what the purpose and the vision was and I'm doing my best to execute on that. At the end of the day, that's Tom's decision and that's why he's the owner of the team."

Gores, who purchased the franchise two years ago, expressed disappointment that the team didn't live up to his expectation of making the playoffs. The Pistons, who finish the season at Brooklyn on Wednesday, will have at least $25 million in salary-cap space this offseason to upgrade the roster and Gores vowed that major changes would be made.

"We put ourselves in position to really make moves," he said. "We want championships. We want to make the playoffs. We want to do all those things. It's a very, very important year and we are prepared to spend."

Philadelphia's coaching situation is also in flux, amid rampant speculation that Doug Collins would resign after the season. Collins refused to take questions about his future before or after the game. The Sixers complete their schedule at Indiana on Wednesday.

"I just told our guys 'I like what you're doing out there.' I think we're having fun playing, which is important to me," he said. "It's supposed to be a nice day in Indy (Tuesday) and I told the guys to go have a nice day, enjoy yourself and let's come back and put one good game together before the season's over. That's the whole thought process on everything."

As for thoughts on his future, all he would offer was "Just finish it up. Just finish it up."

The game showcased Monroe's ability to create mismatches as a power forward. Recently moved to that position with rookie Andre Drummond at center, Monroe notched his 36th double-double while working against the smaller and slimmer Thaddeus Young.

"Any mismatch we have, no matter what player it is, I expect us to take advantage of it," Monroe said. "Tonight, you could say it was me. Going forward, if that's the plan, I'm fine with it."

Will Bynum had 22 points and six assists, Kyle Singler contributed 16 points and Brandon Knight chipped in 12 points for the Pistons (29-52). Detroit's win streak matches its season high. It also had a four-game streak in late December and early January.

"We're right there," said Bynum, who will be a free agent after the season. "We've just got to piece the right veterans around this group of guys and put guys in the right positions, where they can be successful. It's going to fall into place."

Dorell Wright supplied 22 points, eight rebounds and six assists off the bench for the 76ers (33-48), who had won two straight. Jrue Holiday had 14 points and Spencer Hawes and Evan Turner added 13 apiece.

Wright was impressed by Detroit's frontcourt duo.

"They continue to grow and develop," he said. "They're two young big, athletic players. That's something this game is really missing. When you can throw it to guys who can play with their back to the basket, that's definitely huge."

Singler scored 11 third-quarter points as the Pistons led by as much as 10. He made a 3-pointer and fast-break dunk on back-to-back possessions, giving Detroit a 77-71 advantage. Bynum's shot from just inside the 3-point line stretched it to 81-71 in the final minute of the quarter and the lead was nine, 84-75, heading into the fourth.

Monroe 's 3-point play with 10:10 left made it 89-75. The Sixers never got closer than seven the rest of the way.

Hawes and Thaddeus Young had 11 points apiece as the Sixers led 54-51 at halftime.

NOTES: Pistons guard Jose Calderon missed his fourth straight game with a strained right triceps. ... Detroit had a home record of 18-24. ... Holiday was shooting 36.9 percent from the field since March, a span of 24 games. He shot 7-for-15 on Monday. ... Detroit shot 49.4 percent, compared to Philadelphia's 44.8 percent. ... Detroit had a 43-39 rebounding edge and a 50-44 advantage in points in the paint.
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