AUBURN HILLS, MICH. -- Since the Detroit Pistons don't have a spectacular scorer, they get the ball to the man of the moment.
In Game 2 against Philadelphia, that player was Tayshaun Prince -- again.
Prince, the seldom-used rookie who has thrived in the playoffs, scored seven straight points at the end of regulation and the start of overtime as Detroit defeated the 76ers 104-97 last night to take a 2-0 lead in their NBA Eastern Conference semifinal.
"Of course I was surprised," Prince said. "But this is a team that doesn't have a top star on it. Whenever a guy gets going, the coaches and the guys on the bench say, 'Let's get this guy the ball.'
"It's just a matter of who has the good feeling in the game and in the overtime and just before overtime, that guy was me."
Allen Iverson scored 31 points but with a 92-90 lead and 15.1 seconds left in regulation he missed two free throws to give the Pistons a chance at an improbable win.
"I take the blame for this one," Iverson said. "If I made one or two free throws, we're going home happy. Put this one on me."
Detroit's Chauncey Billups missed the game with a sprained ankle after scoring 101 points in three games. He was replaced by Chucky Atkins, who had scored just 23 points in eight playoff games. Atkins matched that total while playing 44 minutes.
Iverson said he was not surprised to see Prince and Atkins play so well.
"They don't just grab guys off the street and put them on NBA rosters," he said.
Mavericks 132, Kings 110
At Dallas, the Mavericks came up with a novel way to defeat Sacramento: Don't miss!
Using a streak of 11 straight baskets in the first quarter and making a phenomenal 64 per cent of their first-half shots, the Mavericks set or tied several playoff scoring records to tie their Western Conference semifinal at one game apiece.
It was the first time since 1995 that a team surpassed 130 points in a playoff game.
Dallas set a first-half playoff scoring record with 83 points and was one shy of the mark for the first quarter with 44.
With 113 points through three quarters, the Mavs even had a shot at the playoff record of 157 set by Boston against New York in 1990. But they managed only seven points in the final 8:52.
The loss may have been extra costly for Sacramento.
All-star forward Chris Webber was carried to the locker room by four teammates late in the third quarter after he injured his left knee while going for a lob pass.
He limped back to the bench on his own early in the fourth and didn't return. He'll be re-evaluated today.