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NBA Preview from The Sports Network



Wednesday, February 16th (All times eastern)

Detroit Pistons (31-19) at Philadelphia 76ers (26-26), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - Larry Brown will return to a familiar place tonight, when he leads the Detroit Pistons into Philadelphia to take on the 76ers at the Wachovia Center.

Brown coached the Sixers for six years (1997-2003) before bolting for Motown to anchor the Pistons. The nomadic head man led the Sixers to the NBA Finals during the 2000-01 campaign only to lose to the Los Angeles Lakers. Last year, Brown guided the Pistons to NBA title.

The Pistons continued their red hot play on Monday night, tallying a 107-83 thrashing of the Milwaukee Bucks at the Palace of Auburn Hills. Detroit has grabbed a 1 1/2-game lead in the Central Division over the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Pistons are also 6 1/2 games behind the East-leading Miami Heat.

Chauncey Billups and Rasheed Wallace scored 17 points apiece to lead the Pistons to the victory. Detroit set a franchise record with just four turnovers in the spotless win. The Pistons had 32 assists to go along with their record-low number of turnovers, marking the third straight game they had more than 30 assists.

Richard Hamilton added 16 points and Carlos Arroyo scored 15 off the bench for the Pistons, who have won three straight and eight of their last nine games. Tayshaun Prince chipped in 13 points and Ben Wallace collected 11 points and 12 rebounds in the win.

The Pistons have dominated their last three opponents, winning by an average of 22.3 points. Detroit has allowed 86 or fewer points in its last four victories.

Despite its recent success, Detroit has lost four of its last six road games to fall to 12-12 in foreign buildings this season. The Pistons are playing only their second road game during a stretch of seven contests.

The 76ers escaped with a 106-105 victory over the arch- rival New York Knicks at the Wachovia Center on Monday night. Philadelphia reached the .500 mark (26-26) for the first time since being 4-4 on Nov. 16. The Sixers also moved into a tie for first place in the Atlantic Division with the Boston Celtics.

Marc Jackson netted 22 points and scored the game-winning basket with just one second remaining to lift the Sixers to their season-high third straight victory. Philadelphia's Allen Iverson posted game highs with 38 points and 10 assists, but scored just seven points in the second half. Iverson was coming off a career performance on Saturday night when he scored 60 points in a win over Orlando.

Iverson made a great play on the game-winning basket, as he felt the double- team right after the inbounds pass and quickly hit the cutting Jackson, who promptly tallied the bucket. Nazr Mohammed missed an open shot in the lane on other end for the Knicks at the buzzer.

Corliss Williamson scored 19 points for the Sixers, who have won three straight and five of their last seven games. Kyle Korver added 12 points to round out Philadelphia's double-figure scorers. Philadelphia's Samuel Dalembert pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds.

Both teams shot 50-percent from the floor, as Philadelphia hit 38-of-76 shots and the Knicks made 41-of-82 attempts.

Philadelphia played without starting forward Kenny Thomas, who sat out his second straight game with a lower back strain. Key reserve Willie Green didn't play because of a coach's decision. Thomas is listed as questionable for tonight's contest.

Philadelphia, which is 15-9 at home this season, is in the middle of a three- game homestand. The Sixers have won four of five and eight of their last 10 home tilts.

Detroit has won four straight and eight of its last 12 meetings in this series, including three of its last five at Philadelphia. Nonetheless, the Sixers own a 109-83 lead in this all-time set.

02/16 10:12:34 ET


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