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Clippers miss their chance against Pistons

Detroit wins easily despite being short-handed.

March 21, 2009|Associated Press

AUBURN HILLS, MICH. — The Clippers lost to the Detroit Pistons for the 13th consecutive time Friday night, but Coach Mike Dunleavy said it didn't have to be that way.

"At one point, when we had a 10-point lead, we should have had a 20-point lead," Dunleavy said after the Clippers' 108-90 loss. "Our bigs didn't control the paint like they should have and gave up too many easy buckets around the basket."

Will Bynum, pressed into the starting lineup five hours before the game, scored a career-high 22 points and matched his career-best six assists to help the short-handed Pistons end a three-game losing streak.

Antonio McDyess had 24 points and 17 rebounds and Tayshaun Prince had 23 points and a career-high 12 assists to help Detroit win despite using only seven players for most of the night.

"The pace of the game was great for us," said Bynum, who got the start after flu-like symptoms sidelined Rodney Stuckey. "I just tried to be aggressive. I knew I was the only point guard tonight."

His energy helped the Pistons, who took the floor without four of their top five scorers as Stuckey joined Richard Hamilton (groin), Rasheed Wallace (calf) and Allen Iverson (back) on the bench.

"Will did a great job pushing the ball up the floor," said Kwame Brown, who scored 14 points -- his best output as a Piston. "It allowed me and 'Dyess to get open shots."

Detroit trailed by 12 points in the first half and was down, 50-46, at intermission, but Prince scored the last five points of a 9-1 spurt early in the third quarter that gave the Pistons the lead for good.

The Clippers helped by turning the ball over three times in the period.

Bynum had his fourth straight double-digit scoring night and helped draw the Clippers' defenders away from the Pistons' big men in the second half.

Rookie Eric Gordon scored 22 points and Baron Davis added 19 and eight assists for the Clippers. Chris Kaman had 13 points and Marcus Camby added 12 for the Clippers, who last defeated Detroit on Nov. 3, 2002.

The Clippers pulled to within 79-77 early in the fourth quarter, but Walter Herrmann answered with a pair of three-pointers in a 27-second span to give the Pistons a cushion. Herrmann scored all 13 of his points in the last nine minutes of the game for Detroit, which was 13 for 18 from the field in the final period.

"We got more sound defensively," Detroit Coach Michael Curry said.

"When we're doing the things we should be doing defensively, we can be pretty good."

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