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Originally published March 4, 2008 at 12:00 AM | Page modified March 4, 2008 at 11:32 PM

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Sonics fall 100-97 to Pistons

Tayshaun Prince scored 24 points, Chauncey Billups added 20 points and nine assists, and the Detroit Pistons overcame a slow start to beat the Seattle SuperSonics 100-97 Tuesday night.

The Associated Press

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AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Tayshaun Prince scored 24 points, Chauncey Billups added 20 points and nine assists, and the Detroit Pistons overcame a slow start to beat the Seattle SuperSonics 100-97 Tuesday night.

Seattle shot 82 percent in the first quarter on its way to a 41-28 lead, but that fell to 32 percent in the final three periods as the SuperSonics lost for the fifth time in six games. The Pistons have won five of six and have defeated the Sonics seven straight times.

Billups' buzzer-beating 3-pointer cut Seattle's lead to 78-77 going into the fourth, and the Pistons took control with a 13-2 run to begin the period. The Sonics, who went 0-for-12 to start the second quarter, started the fourth by missing 10 of their first 11.

Seattle pulled within 96-94 on Earl Watson's driving layup with 43 seconds left, but Amir Johnson answered with a basket at the other end.

Prince blocked Kevin Durant's shot, and Watson and Chris Wilcox both missed desperate shots before Billups clinched the game from the line.

Richard Hamilton scored 18 for Detroit. Watson had 23 for Seattle, while Wilcox and Durant added 20 apiece.

After reaching a season high for points in the first quarter on 18-of-21 shooting, the Sonics collapsed early in the second, managing just one point in the first seven minutes.

That let the Pistons pull to 42-38 after trailing by as many as 15, and Seattle's lead was just 54-53 at the half.

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