Friday , Mar , 19 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

Detroit Pistons Team Report – March 19

=== Detroit Pistons Team Report – March 19 ===

(Sports Network) – Chauncey Billups scored 20 points and handed out eight
assists to lead the Detroit Pistons past the New Jersey Nets, 89-71, on
Thursday at Continental Airlines Arena.

Rasheed Wallace collected 16 points and eight rebounds and Richard Hamilton
chipped in 15 points and nine boards for Detroit, which has won six in a row
and 10 of its last 11 contests.

Ben Wallace had 13 points and eight rebounds for the Pistons, who came within
one second of holding their sixth straight opponent under 70 points.

Mehmet Okur’s layup with 2:42 remaining in the third quarter staked Detroit to
a 68-49 advantage. The Nets then stormed back, as Richard Jefferson’s jumper
culminated a 14-2 burst that pulled New Jersey within 70-63 with 5:44 left in
the fourth period.

However, Rasheed Wallace answered with a three-pointer and Corliss Williamson
followed with consecutive baskets for the Pistons to push the margin back to
14 at 77-63 with 4:26 remaining. After Jefferson sank a pair of foul shots,
Rasheed Wallace nailed another three-point shot to ignite an 11-0 spurt that
gave Detroit a commanding 88-65 advantage with 2:18 left.

The Pistons play the Denver Nuggets tonight. This is the second and final
meeting of the season between the two teams. On March 6, the Nuggets were
crushed by the Pistons, 97-66, at the Pepsi Center.

Billups has averaged 17.3 points and 7.7 assists in his last three games. He
has scored in double digits in 13 of his last 15 contests.