76ers Beat Pistons 97-68, Ending 5-Game Skid
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AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) — Thaddeus Young scored 12 of his 20 points in a pivotal second quarter and All-Star Andre Iguodala had 12 points, six assists and four steals to help the Philadelphia 76ers beat the Detroit Pistons 97-68 and snap a five-game losing streak.
Philadelphia coach Doug Collins left the bench between the third and fourth quarters, walking to the team’s locker room, and didn’t return to the court because of flulike symptoms.
The Atlantic Division-leading Sixers have been at their best against the lowly Pistons, beating them twice at home by an average of 22 points and routing them Tuesday night in the first game for both teams after the All-Star break.
Philadelphia’s Elton Brand scored 10 points, returning from a two-game absence because of a sprained right thumb, Lou Williams scored 13 and Jrue Holiday added 10 points and five assists.
The Sixers turned a two-point lead into a 16-point cushion at halftime by outscoring the Pistons 28-14 in the second quarter.
Detroit has lost three straight after winning seven of nine.
Greg Monroe scored 11 of his 20 points in the first quarter, when the Pistons trailed by just two, and Rodney Stuckey had 17 points.
Detroit coach Lawrence Frank lamented his team’s tendency to turn the ball over against the quick Sixers in their previous two meetings and the trend continued after a strong start.
Monroe scored nine points in 4-plus minutes to outscore Philadelphia by himself and help the Pistons take a 12-8 lead.
Philadelphia responded by scoring off turnovers, forced and unforced, with a 12-2 run and led 22-20 after the first quarter.
The Sixers quickly took control with their quickness at both ends of the court. Philadelphia built a 13-point lead early in the second quarter, going ahead 33-20 on Young’s three-point play after he grabbed the defensive rebound, made an outlet pass and got the ball back from Evan Turner to set up a spinning layup down the lane.
Philadelphia jumped into passing lanes to make some steals and sometimes benefited from Detroit’s bad plays such as one half-court set that ended with Monroe tossing the ball onto Brandon Knight’s back and led to Iguodala’s dunk at the other end.
Philadelphia led by 17 in the second quarter and was ahead 50-34 at halftime.
The Pistons didn’t make one shot outside the lane in the first half, connecting on just 35 percent from anywhere, and allowed the Sixers to make almost 48 percent of their shots over the first two quarters.
Holiday opened the second half with a shot and Stuckey was called for a 3-second violation on Detroit’s first possession of the third quarter, setting the tone for both teams.
Philadelphia took control for good in the third quarter it coasted the rest of the way toward an easy victory.
Heckling fans could easily be heard in the mostly empty arena and one shouted, “I can’t watch this stuff anymore,” late in the third quarter as the Sixers led by 23 points.
Former Pistons coach Michael Curry led the Sixers when Collins left the bench.
NOTES: Collins said Philadelphia center Spencer Hawes, who will miss at least the next two weeks because of a strained left Achilles, will return to play March 12 at Utah if he doesn’t have a setback. Hawes will not play in back-to-back games and won’t play for more than 5 minutes in any quarter during the first 10 days of his return, according to Collins.
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