The Pistons were in huge trouble, trailing 45-31 while their All-Star backcourt of Chauncey Billups and Rip Hamilton was headed for a combined 3-for-18 performance in the first half. Then Detroit dramatically upped its defense over the last three minutes of the half and sustained it through the third quarter to launch an extended 35-11 run worthy of a 10-point lead late in the third quarter. In so doing the Pistons may have seized control of this series heading back to Detroit for Games 5 and 7 (if necessary). The lone steady influence for the Pistons has been Tayshaun Prince (pictured), who shot 90.5 percent (19 of 21 from the floor) in the two games at Philadelphia. He also held 76ers star Andre Iguodala to 4-of-16 shooting for 12 points; for the series Iguodala is 11 for 49 (22.4 percent) while failing to score 20 points in any of the games, equaling the longest cold streak he suffered during the regular season. Prince said he was unaware how efficiently he had been scoring, perhaps because he has been more concerned by the Pistons' inconsistency while losing Games 1 and 3 to the seventh-seeded Sixers. "We always put ourselves in tough situations and have to find a way to dig ourselves out of it," Prince said. "If we keep doing it, sooner or later we're not going to be able to get ourselves out of it." With 5.2 seconds left in the half Rasheed Wallace received a technical after being whistled for tripping Reggie Evans. But Wallace's anger didn't take him out of the flow; quite the contrary, he hit all three of his threes to help Detroit take charge in the third quarter. These second-half numbers were crucial for Detroit: Prince went 6 of 6 for 13 points, Hamilton was 6 of 12 for 16 points (after a 1 for 10 opening half), and Philadelphia shot 38.2 percent after going for 54.5 percent in the opening two quarters. "I'm sure they won't have as many turnovers," predicted Iguodala at practice Saturday. "We'll just have to rely on limiting them to one shot." He was prescient on both counts: The Pistons were plus-3 for the game in turnovers while committing 16 overall -- including 5 in the second half -- and they turned the game with 11 second-chance points in the third quarter thanks to seven offensive rebounds in that period. Antonio McDyess contributed 10 points and four rebounds in 20 minutes off the bench one day after undergoing surgery in Detroit to repair the broken nose he suffered Friday in Philadelphia. Over his two painful days he had eaten only a pregame meal of fruit Sunday, yet the 33 year old made a number of high-energy plays at both ends to keep the Pistons alive when the 76ers threatened to run away with the first half. "That was a lot of courage on 'Dyess's part to come back," said Prince. "It was crazy that out of anybody on our team he was the one playing the hardest. If it wasn't for him we might have been down 20 at halftime instead of 10."
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