Hamilton and Billups lead Pistons over Sacramento
Auburn Hills, MI (Sports Network) – Richard Hamilton poured in 36 points and
Chauncey Billups contributed 28 points and a career-high 19 assists, as the
Detroit Pistons ran past the Sacramento Kings, 109-98, at the Palace.
Rasheed Wallace added 19 points and eight rebounds, while Tayshaun Prince
contributed 13 points for Detroit, which has won seven of its last eight
contests. Ben Wallace had a solid defensive effort with a season-high 17
rebounds, along with five blocks and four steals.
Billups had an outstanding game offensively, going 10-of-15 from the field,
including 6-of-8 from three-point range.
“We all know he can make shots, but when he gets a lot of assists it means our
offense is working,” said Pistons head coach Flip Saunders. “You look at the
top point guards in each conference and there’s Steve Nash in the West and
Chauncey in the East. He’s the one guy in the league at that position who has
the complete package.”
Brad Miller had a team-high 16 points and nine rebounds for the Kings, who had
a three-game winning streak broken. Mike Bibby and Shareef Abdur-Rahim added
14 points in defeat.
“I think he’s underrated,” Bibby said of Billups. “He deserves a lot more
credit than people give him. I think he’s one of the top guys in the league.”
Nine straight points by the Pistons extended them to a 36-23 lead in the
opening quarter. Hamilton had six of those points, as Detroit led 36-27 after
A free throw by Jason Hart boosted the Kings to a 40-37 edge early in the
second quarter, but the Pistons responded with a 15-2 push. Prince’s three-
pointer capped the spurt with 2:05 left in the half and Detroit led 56-48 at
Seven straight points by the Kings had them within 67-66 following a Miller
jumper with 6:47 remaining in the third quarter. However, the Pistons embarked
on a 15-6 run to take control. A three-pointer by Billups and driving layup by
Prince ended the rally with 2:14 remaining in the third, and the Pistons were
in front 83-75 going into the fourth.
The Pistons held a double-digit lead the remainder of the game.
“We just wanted to be aggressive and get off to a good start,” Billups said.
“We did that, but struggled a bit in the second quarter. We knew at halftime
that we had to put it on them a little. Our big guys played great, too. It was
a great effort by everybody.”
Detroit’s 16-3 start ties the 1996-97 franchise record…Corliss Williamson
had 11 points and Peja Stojakovic scored 10 for Sacramento, which shot 50
percent from the field…Detroit shot 50.6 percent and made 10-of-20 three-
pointers…Detroit has won three straight meetings.