Pistons 124, 76ers 103

Charlie Villanueva missed the team’s charter flight to
Philadelphia.

He couldn’t miss once the game started.

Villanueva scored 25 points, Rodney Stuckey added 24 and the
short-handed Detroit Pistons snapped an 11-game losing streak with
a 124-103 victory over the 76ers on Tuesday night.

“It’s been a rough year for me,” said Villanueva, who was 8
for 11 from the field, including 4 of 6 from 3-point territory.
“But I never lose confidence in myself. It’s just been one of
those years. I’m not making excuses.”

Ben Wallace added a season-high 18 points, Tayshaun Prince had
14 and Ben Gordon 13 for the Pistons (24-53), who won for only the
eighth time on the road this season.

Jonas Jerebko added 11 points and Will Bynum had 10 as the
Pistons shot a season-high 63 percent from the field. They also
shattered their season high for points, eclipsing the 110 they had
reached three times.

Detroit halted a double-digit losing skid for the second time in
2009-10. The Pistons dropped 13 in a row from Dec. 15 to Jan.
11.

“Our guys made a conscious effort to play defense,” Pistons
coach John Kuester said.

Marreese Speights scored 21 points and Jodie Meeks 19 for the
struggling Sixers, who have lost four straight. Andre Iguodala and
Lou Williams had 12 apiece, while Jrue Holiday added 11.

“Too bad there’s not a Phillies game or another (Donovan)
McNabb trade to keep you guys occupied,” Sixers coach Eddie Jordan
said. “It was just a poor performance and no excuse.”

Jordan limited the minutes for several of his starters,
including Elton Brand and Samuel Dalembert. Brand had a subpar game
again with two rebounds in 12 minutes. In last Saturday’s 128-123
overtime loss to Toronto, Brand went without a rebound for the
first time in 713 career games.

Dalembert (12 minutes) and Brand were criticized for their
effort and defense by Jordan after the game.

“He’s the coach and he’s the boss,” Dalembert said. “He’s not
happy and we’re not happy. I’m out there trying hard and hustling.
I don’t have a problem with the coach.”

Detroit built an 18-point advantage in the fourth quarter when
Jerebko’s layup pushed it to 104-86.

The Sixers never got the deficit under 10 the rest of the
way.

The Pistons were already depleted with injuries to guard Richard
Hamilton along with forwards Jason Maxiell and Chris Wilcox. Then
Stuckey limped off the court with 5:11 remaining in the third
quarter after crashing to the court following a driving layup.

Stuckey – who was elbowed in the left rib – hit the free throw,
left for the locker room and was replaced by Gordon. Stuckey
returned at the start of the fourth.

In addition to Villanueva, forward Austin Daye missed Detroit’s
charter flight. They took commercial flights and arrived at the
game in time. Both players initially came off the bench in the
first half.

“It’s great to get a win,” Villanueva said. “I haven’t seen a
locker room like this in a while. Guys are actually smiling.”

The Sixers shot 60 percent from the field in the first half
while Detroit was close behind at 56 percent. The teams went into
halftime tied at 61.

NOTES: Sixers guard Rodney Carney (right big toe) and forward
Thaddeus Young (broken right thumb) were inactive. … The Pistons
shot 68 percent from the field in the first quarter. … Detroit
committed only 10 turnovers.