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News » Sixers soft on boards in loss

Sixers soft on boards in loss

Sixers soft on boards in loss AUBURN HILLS, Mich. - Yesterday afternoon, the Detroit Pistons beat the 76ers not by making shots but by rebounding the shots they missed.

The Pistons did it again and again - sometimes a few times in one possession - clearing space under the rim like fullbacks through a line.

Led by the headbanded rebound-grabber known as Ben Wallace, Detroit defeated the Sixers , 88-81, at the Palace of Auburn Hills.

The Pistons outrebounded the Sixers , 51-39. Detroit grabbed 21 offensive rebounds, scored 27 second-chance points, and accumulated 42 points in the paint.

The Pistons, missing injured veterans Tayshaun Prince and Rip Hamilton, improved to 3-4. The Sixers dropped to 3-3.

The Sixers will play the Phoenix Suns (6-1) tonight at 7 at the Wachovia Center.

"All I have to say is that they outplayed us inside," said Sixers center Samuel Dalembert, who played just over 14 minutes, had five rebounds, and did not start the second half. "We didn't put a body on anybody. At some point in the game, we showed some signs we were trying to get things done, but it was too late. They outhustled us to extra balls, got extra possessions."

The 6-foot-9 Wallace finished with 16 rebounds. His teammate Will Bynum, a guard generously listed at 6 feet, had one fewer rebound - eight - than the Sixers' top rebounder, power forward Elton Brand.

And still, with 4 minutes, 50 seconds remaining, the Sixers had a sideline inbounds play in front of their own hoop, the score tied at 77.

Before the ball was inbounded, coming out of a time-out, Sixers forward Marreese Speights knocked knees with Bynum. Seeing Speights in pain, Sixers coach Eddie Jordan called another time-out.

Speights, who made 7 of 9 shots and scored 15 points, sat on the bench, ice on his bruised knee, for the rest of the game.

"He had it going," Jordan said. "Just a freak play, and he's just standing there, and he gets hurt. And we needed him for the next couple of possessions."

On that same possession, Speights' replacement, Brand, couldn't score when he got the ball under the rim.

The play after that, Detroit guard Ben Gordon, who finished with 23 points, hit an 18-foot jumper.

From there, the Pistons extended their lead.

The Sixers went the final 6:02 without a field goal, missing their last eight shots. A 22-foot jumper by guard Willie Green was their final bucket. Green finished with a season-high 13 points.

Sixers swingman Andre Iguodala scored a game-high 24 points. He was 4 for 7 from the free-throw line in the final 2:22, accounting for all of the Sixers' end-of-game points.

Afterward, inside the visitors' cramped locker room, the Sixers knew exactly why they had lost.

"They've got some big bigs, and they were hitting us before we were hitting them," said Speights, who had six boards. "They were overpowering us."

Said Jordan: "On the road - and again, I don't care who they're missing, we're on the road in an NBA game - you have to do almost everything right if they're playing at a high level like that to win the game. We were short one ingredient, and that was rebounding."

Contact staff writer Kate Fagan at 856-779-3844 or kfagan@phillynews.com.

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Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: November 9, 2009


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