76ers 97, Pistons 68
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP)
Philadelphia 76ers coach Doug Collins had a little scare and his team stopped a skid.
Collins left the bench between the third and fourth quarters because he felt lightheaded, but gave himself a clean bill of health after the 76ers beat the Detroit Pistons 97-68 Tuesday night and snapped its five-game losing streak.
''I think I got dehydrated,'' Collins said. ''It's nothing related to what I had with vertigo. It's all good.''
He missed two preseason games last year because of symptoms related to a concussion, then had neurological testing and treatment for what was diagnosed as vertigo. He saw the Sixers earn their first victory of the 2010-11 season in the locker room on his back, not the bench because of dizzy spells.
Collins said he broke a promise to himself by thinking about his team during the All-Star break when he spent time with his family, leading to him not sleeping well for days before resuming the season.
''The guys gave me a great gift with the way they played,'' he said.
''Thaddeus gave us such a lift,'' Collins said. ''I knew our guys would bounce back.''
Playing Detroit helped.
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 then routing them by 29 in the first game for both teams after the All-Star break.
''We were still on vacation,'' Detroit's Tayshaun Prince said.
Detroit has lost three straight after winning seven of nine.
Philadelphia's Lou Williams scored 13, Jrue Holiday added 10 points and five assists while Brand scored 10 points in his return from a two-game absence because of a sprained right thumb.
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 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.
''When you see a team with 17 steals, it is pretty obvious what happened,'' Frank said. ''They averaged 21 points off our turnovers in the first two games, so our goal was to make them play against our set defense. Of course, that didn't happen.''
It did for Detroit during the opening minutes before its game plan fell apart.
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 took a 33-20 in the second quarter 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.
''Their bench changed the game,'' Frank said. ''They've got one of the best benches in the game, and they started the second quarter with a 11-0 run. Thaddeus Young really hurt us in the first half and Louis Williams really hurt us in the second half.''
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. ... First-year Pistons owner Tom Gores attended the game.