Monday , Jan , 19 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

Lucky 13: Pistons extend win streak

Auburn Hills, MI (Sports Network) – Chauncey Billups scored 14 of his 18
points in the fourth quarter, as the Detroit Pistons tied a franchise record
with their 13th straight victory, 85-77 over the San Antonio Spurs at The
Palace.

Mehmet Okur netted 15 points and Chucky Atkins added 14 for Detroit, which
closed the game with a 12-0 spurt. Richard Hamilton chipped in 13 points and
six assists and Ben Wallace pulled down 16 rebounds for the Pistons, who
halted a six-game losing streak versus the Spurs.

Tim Duncan paced San Antonio with 17 points, 10 boards and six assists. Hedo
Turkoglu collected 14 points and six rebounds for the Spurs, who have dropped
four of their last five contests.

Manu Ginobili scored all eight points during an 8-1 run at the beginning of
the fourth quarter, as San Antonio claimed a 64-59 advantage.

The Spurs still held a four-point edge at 77-73 following a three-pointer by
Turkoglu with 2:22 left. However, San Antonio would not score again.

After a pair of free throws by Okur, Billups nailed a three-pointer with 1:28
remaining to give Detroit the lead for good at 78-77.

“If I get a look late in the game, I just feel like I’m going to make it,”
said Billups. “I don’t know what it is in me.”

Billups then converted a three-point play to make it 81-77 with 48.6 seconds
left.

Robert Horry then missed a three-point shot for the Spurs and Billups was
later fouled with 29 seconds remaining. He made both attempts from the stripe
to seal it. Billups completed his stellar quarter with two more foul shots to
account for the final margin.

“Chauncey (Billups) came up with some heroics, and that was basically the
difference,” said San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich.

The first quarter was tight throughout and ended with the Spurs clinging to a
17-16 lead. San Antonio increased its advantage to 27-23 on a three-pointer by
Turkoglu with 8:56 left in the second quarter.

Detroit then countered with a 10-2 spurt, capped by Hamilton’s layup, to move
in front 33-29. The Pistons carried a 38-36 lead into the locker room.

Hamilton ended the first half with 11 points, while Duncan led the Spurs in
the opening 24 minutes with eight.

The Pistons stretched their advantage to 45-38 on a three-point shot by
Tayshaun Prince with 9:52 remaining in the third quarter.

San Antonio battled back and regained the lead at 56-55 on a layup by Kevin
Willis with 1:09 left in the period. The Pistons eventually led 58-56 after 36
minutes.

DET SAN