Pistons win home finale, 109-101 over 76ers
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) — Lawrence Frank walked quickly toward midcourt as
the final seconds ticked away, greeting Doug Collins with a handshake
and a few words.
Frank’s future is uncertain in Detroit
and Collins is on his way out as Philadelphia’s coach. That’s what
happens at the end of a disappointing season.
Greg Monroe had 27 points and 16
rebounds, and the Detroit Pistons made the most of their home finale by
beating the Philadelphia 76ers 109-101 on Monday night. For both teams,
the game was overshadowed by uncertainty off the court. Collins won’t be
back as Philadelphia’s coach, and Pistons owner Tom Gores remained
noncommittal before the game on the status of Frank, his coach, and Joe
Dumars, his team president.
“Any time there’s a last of anything —
so there’s a last home game — for whoever it is, I think everyone has
to appreciate the moment,” Frank said. “As a team, collectively, this
will be the last time we play on this floor.”
A person familiar with the situation has
told The Associated Press that Collins and the Sixers were trying to
resolve their future relationship after the coach told them he would not
return for a fourth season.
Collins didn’t discuss his future before the game Monday. Philadelphia finishes the season at Indiana on Wednesday night.
“I like what this team is doing, and it
is a fun group,” Collins said. “I told them that it is supposed to be
great weather in Indy (on Tuesday), so we’ll take the day off, enjoy
ourselves and then get together for one last good game.”
The 76ers reached the playoffs the last
two seasons, but the best they could manage in 2012-13 was avoiding a
50-loss campaign. They’re 33-48 heading into their finale.
Gores met with reporters briefly and
said he was disappointed with Detroit’s season, but it’s not clear what
will happen with Dumars and Frank. The Pistons are playing better of
late. They’ve won four straight, equaling their longest run of the
Detroit trailed 54-51 at halftime
Monday but went on a 14-5 run near the end of the third quarter to open a
double-digit lead. The Pistons outscored the 76ers 33-21 in the period.
Monroe’s spinning three-point play with 10:10 to go in the fourth made it 89-75.
It was the 36th double-double of the
season for Monroe, equaling the most by a Piston since Grant Hill had 44
in 1995-96. Hill also had 36 the following two seasons.
Detroit is finishing up its fourth
straight season without a playoff berth, and there’s no telling what the
offseason could bring, but the players didn’t seem affected by the
“At the end of the day, this is our
job,” Monroe said. “When you step on the court, you have to play, and
that’s what I focus on. There’s always going to be stuff that happens
off the court. This is a business. There are going to be changes every
year. It’s about, whoever you are, just making sure you play the best
Will Bynum scored 22 points in just
over 25 minutes for Detroit. Kyle Singler contributed 16 points and
Brandon Knight had 12.
The 76ers trailed by only seven late in the game, but Bynum’s 3-pointer from the left corner made it 106-96.
Dorell Wright had 22 points, eight rebounds and six assists for the 76ers. Jrue Holiday added 14 points.
“We were doing some good things and
then we started dribbling a little too much,” Collins said. “Monroe was
terrific. Knight had that little stretch where he got hot and hit some
shots and then Bynum was good off of the bench.”
Detroit rookie Andre Drummond, a game-time decision after spraining his
right ankle Friday, had five points and eight rebounds before fouling