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Pistons sink Lakers with late 3
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Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant (left) drives past Detroit Pistons guard Richard Hamilton and forward Jason Maxiell (right) in the second half in Auburn Hills, Michigan, on Thursday. Bryant led all players with 39 points in an 89-90 loss to the Pistons.

Tayshaun Prince's three-pointer with four seconds left fired the Detroit Pistons to a 90-89 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday.

Detroit's ninth consecutive home win over Los Angeles was achieved despite 39 points and 10 rebounds from the Lakers' Kobe Bryant.

Prince scored the winner after chasing down a missed three-pointer by teammate Rasheed Wallace and getting the ball to Chauncey Billups, who found Prince alone on the left wing.

"Chauncey made the perfect play," Prince told reporters. "Usually when you get an offensive rebound, you get the draw and kick and the probability is of a high-percentage shot."

Prince led Detroit with 22 points; Billups got 16 and Richard Hamilton 14. Derek Fisher added 15 points for Los Angeles.

In other National Basketball Association games, it was: Celtics 96, Mavericks 90; Spurs 84, Suns 81; SuperSonics 101, Cavaliers 95.

At the Palace on Auburn Hill, Bryant had rallied the Lakers from a 17-point first-half deficit with 10 successive points in the third period. That gave Los Angeles a 62-58 advantage with 4:18 left in the period.

"We had done a good job defensively (on him)," Detroit coach Flip Saunders said. "He had 11 turnovers. But when he gets it going like that. I mean, the guy has scored 81 in a game."

A tight game followed with the Lakers leading 89-87 on Ronny Turiaf's free throw with 17 seconds to play before Prince nailed his three-pointer.

Los Angeles still had a chance but Lamar Odom missed a jumper with two seconds to go.

In Boston, the NBA-leading Celtics hung on to beat Dallas, denying the Mavericks' bid to go top of the Southwest Division.

Point guard Rajon Rondo had a season-high 12 rebounds, following one of them with a putback layup with 42 seconds left to give the Celtics the lead.

The Celtics, which had lost 5 of 11 to take some sheen off a record-breaking start to the season, remain unbeaten against Western Conference teams.

In Phoenix, an undermanned San Antonio rallied to beat Phoenix and end a three-game losing streak.

Tim Duncan banked in a shot with 30.9 seconds remaining, and Manu Ginobili hit four late free throws to secure victory.

Ginobili finished with 19 points, including 12-of-12 from the line, while Duncan had 16 points and 17 rebounds.

Defeat cost the Suns the chance to take the lead in the Western Conference.

In Seattle, the home side held off a late surge to beat Cleveland, which played without LeBron James.

Chris Wilcox scored Seattle's first 10 points and Kevin Durant had 12 of his 24 in the first quarter, to give the Sonics an early advantage.

Two nights after snapping their franchise-record, 14-game losing streak by beating NBA champion San Antonio, the Sonics took out the reigning Eastern Conference champ.

James sat out the game after spraining an ankle on Wednesday.

(Agencies via Shanghai Daily February 2, 2008)

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