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 Prince, Stuckey lead Pistons over Clippers 88-87

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PostSubject: Prince, Stuckey lead Pistons over Clippers 88-87   Tue Jan 06, 2009 12:01 am

LOS ANGELES(AP) Allen Iverson was having one
of his worst shooting games, so the last thing the Los Angeles Clippers
wanted to do was help him out.Iverson got some timely assistance
from Al Thornton, who was called for goaltending by referee Tommy Nunez
Jr. after swatting away a driving scoop shot with 4.9 seconds on the
clock. The ruling gave the Detroit Pistons the deciding points in an
88-87 victory on Sunday."You know you're having a bad-shooting
game when you get the game-winner - and that don't even go in,''
Iverson said after going 7-for-22 from the field and finishing with 18
points and 10 assists."Finally, I got an easy shot that I knew
was going in to put us up by one point, and somebody comes out of
nowhere on a goaltending. It was so loud, so at first I didn't know
they had called it.''Iverson made a pair of 3-pointers in the
second quarter, ending an eight-game drought in which he was 0-for-8
from behind the arc. But he missed his other five 3-point attempts
against the Clippers."All day I got some great looks and a lot
of those shots felt good, but they just didn't go in,'' Iverson said.
"I think it goes all the way back to grade school when the coaches tell
you to just stay with it and stay positive regardless of what's
happening in the game. I guess just being a veteran helped me out
today.''Rodney Stuckey scored 24 points and Tayshaun Prince
added 20, helping extend Detroit's winning streak to seven games in a
matchup of injury-depleted teams. The four-time defending Central
Division champs have beaten the Clippers 12 straight times and have won
the last six meetings at Staples Center.Rookie guard Eric Gordon scored a career-high 31 points for the Clippers, but missed a 15-footer over Prince as time expired."Eric
was hot all night. It's just too bad his last shot didn't fall,''
Thornton said. "Things like that happen, and a loss is a loss. so we
can't carry that through to the next game. A win would help rebuild our
team chemistry and develop a more winning mentality.''The
Clippers dropped to 8-25 with their seventh straight loss. Marcus Camby
had 14 points and 20 rebounds, extending his double-digit rebound
streak to 20 games. He is averaging 18.3 over his last eight.Rasheed
Wallace missed his second game due to a sore right foot and Richard
Hamilton sat out his fifth straight because of a groin strain. Antonio
McDyess, who missed the previous two because of sore ribs, had 15
rebounds and six points in 24 minutes.Detroit scored eight
straight points to take a 78-70 lead with 7:04 to play. The Clippers
tied it at 80 with two free throws and a short jumper by Gordon that
capped a 10-2 spurt with 2:56 remaining. But the Prince spun around
Mardy Collins for a dunk and Iverson hit a 20-footer from the key 32
seconds later, giving Detroit an 86-82 edge with 1:20 left.Gordon,
the Clippers' No. 1 draft pick, responded with a driving layup before
Iverson missed a 15-foot fadeaway jumper with 41 seconds to go. Gordon
put Los Angeles ahead 87-86 on a three-point play, banking in a
six-foot running jumper while he was fouled by Arron Afflalo with 21.9
seconds on the clock.Prince slipped while dribbling the ball
during Detroit's next possession and quickly called for a 20-second
timeout. giving the Pistons a chance to set up the play that led to the
goaltending call.Playing without Zach Randolph, Baron Davis,
Chris Kaman and Ricky Davis, the Clippers used their 13th different
starting lineup as Fred Jones started for the first time in five games
since signing with them as a free agent on Dec. 28. Last season, coach
Mike Dunleavy used a league-high 39 starting lineups.Jones
lasted only 2 minutes and 37 seconds, leaving the game because of a
sprained right foot. But Gordon powered the Clippers to a 54-52
halftime lead with 18 points. Over the last six games, Gordon is
averaging 21.3 points and shooting 47.2 percent.Collins, who
came to the Clippers along with Randolph in a trade with the New York
Knicks on Nov. 21, had a career-high 12 assists. But he shot 1-for-7
from the field and had two points in 42 minutes.Notes: Fourteen
of Detroit's 21 victories have been by single-digit margins. Thirteen
of the Clippers' 25 losses have been by single-digit margins, and six
of them by three points or less. ... Iverson is averaging 17.9 points
and 5.6 assists in 28 games with the Pistons after joining them in a
trade from Denver on Nov. 3. ... The Clippers haven't beaten Detroit
since Nov. 3, 2002 at Los Angeles, when Clifford Robinson missed a
3-pointer at the buzzer that would have won the game for the Pistons.
Detroit has won 21 of the last 25 meetings overall. ... The Clippers
have shot under 50 percent from the field in each of their first 33
games. Last season, they didn't shoot 50 percent or better until their
33rd game, when they became the last team in the league to do it. ...
Detroit is 13-3 since inserting Stuckey into the starting lineup.

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