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Pistons top 76ers for first win of season

The SportsXchange

PHILADELPHIA -- Detroit Pistons coach Lawrence Frank, once part of a 0-16 start while in charge of the New Jersey Nets, did not feel any added pressure from his team's 0-8 start this season.

"When you're in it, whether you're winning or losing, you never talk about a streak," said Frank, who was fired by the Nets after that dismal start in 2009-10. "You're just focused on that game. We're disappointed in our start, but it wasn't like we had any doubt we were going to win a game. It was, 'Hey, when we deserve to win, we'll win.'"

On Wednesday night, they finally deserved it. Greg Monroe had 19 points, 18 rebounds and six assists, and the Pistons held the Philadelphia 76ers to a court-record-low 29.8 shooting percentage en route to a 94-76 victory.

"It was real important, because we needed it," Monroe said of the victory. "As a team, we felt like it was long overdue. We had a lot of games where we could have won, so tonight we just wanted to come out, and we did a great job of dominating for 48 minutes."

Rookie guard Kyle Singler, making his first start, added 16 points for Detroit (1-8).

The Pistons limited the Sixers (4-4) to a season-low point total. Frank said Detroit's tough defense was the result of "intent and effort."

"Guys were locked in and focused," he said.

That has been a rarity this season. Entering the night, the Pistons were allowing 101.5 points a game on 46 percent shooting -- numbers that ranked 27th and 26th in the league, respectively.

They also had the worst rebounding differential -- minus-7.5 -- but they owned the glass against Philadelphia, 57-38.

"We were in slow motion," Sixers coach Doug Collins said.

"It's discouraging, obviously, after that happens," guard Jrue Holiday said of the Sixers' effort. "But when you see somebody is beating up on you or punking you, you're supposed to hit back. We didn't have that today, and then after a while when we tried to, it was like everything was going their way."

Brandon Knight and Tayshaun Prince scored 15 apiece for Detroit, which shot 47.3 percent from the field. But it was Singler who provided a critical spark. Dubbed "Bucketman" by Monroe, Singler was filling in for Rodney Stuckey, who missed the game with flu-like symptoms.

"He's going to get easy buckets, playing off other people, make open shots," Monroe said. "He did his job tonight. He's been doing it every night. He's been one of the most consistent players on the team this year."

"I'm pretty happy with the way I played," Singler said. "More importantly, I'm pretty happy our team won. We played really well, and it was on the defensive end."

Lavoy Allen scored 14 points to top the Sixers, who have dropped two straight and three in a row at home. Holiday added 12.

Philadelphia, which remains without center Andrew Bynum, who has a bad right knee, began the night 25th in the NBA in shooting percentage (41.6 percent) and 26th in scoring (89.7 points a game).

The Sixers did manage to trim an 18-point halftime deficit to 11 midway through the third quarter. However, they missed nine of their next 10 shots, enabling the Pistons to extend their lead to 74-54 early in the final period.

Detroit went up by as many as 23 later in the period.

Singler scored 13 points and Prince 12 in the first half, which ended with the Pistons holding a 52-34 lead. To that point in the game, Detroit shot 51.4 percent from the field and limited the Sixers to a season-low point total for any half.

Monroe had 11 points and nine rebounds in the half for the Pistons, who also enjoyed a 33-15 advantage on the boards.

Allen paced the Sixers with 10 first-half points, but as a team, the Sixers shot 30.2 percent before the break.

NOTES: Kwame Brown started at center for the Sixers after missing the previous four games with a calf strain. ... Singler was leveled after colliding with Brown in the first quarter, but he remained in the game. "It kind of snapped my neck," he said. "I felt kind of lost for a little bit." ... Forward Corey Maggette made his first appearance of the season for Detroit after missing the first eight games with a calf strain. He scored nine points. ... Sixers forward Dorell Wright needed eight stitches to close a cut on his chin. He scored six points in 20 minutes. ... The Sixers committed only four turnovers in the game, a floor record.
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