Wednesday , Jan , 18 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Red-hot Detroit cruises past Atlanta

=== Red-hot Detroit cruises past Atlanta ===

Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) – Chauncey Billups scored 23 points and Richard
Hamilton added 21, as Detroit embarrassed Atlanta, 117-89, at Philips Arena.

Rasheed Wallace and Maurice Evans each had 14 points for the red-hot Pistons,
who have won five straight and 16 of their last 18 contests.

Ben Wallace added a game-high 18 rebounds and six blocks for Detroit, which
connected on 54 percent of its shots, including an impressive 12-of-23 effort
from three-point range. Wallace also eclipsed 7,000 rebounds and 1,500 blocks
in his stellar career.

The Pistons, who have won three straight as the visitor, are also now a
sizzling 15-3 on the road this year.

Al Harrington had 21 points and 10 boards for the Hawks, who have dropped five
of their last six contests. Salim Stoudamire contributed 17 points and Joe
Johnson added 13 in the loss.

Detroit trailed 19-18 after one quarter, but the defending Eastern Conference
champions blew the game wide open in the second period.

The Pistons scored the first two points of the frame to gain a one-point lead
and never trailed again as Evans’ three-pointer just past the midway point of
the quarter stretched Detroit’s edge to 10 points. Atlanta did close within
42-34, but the Pistons finished the half on a 17-6 surge to grab a commanding
19-point lead.

Evans had seven points during the barrage, including the final basket of the
period, and Tayshaun Prince added five, as the Pistons went into the locker
room with a 59-40 cushion.

Hamilton scored 15 points for Detroit, which hit on 25-of-45 shots in the
first half. Harrington also netted 15 for the Hawks, who made a dismal 29
percent of their tries in the opening 24 minutes.

The Pistons continued to turn the game into a laugher in the third period
when Prince’s bucket midway through the stanza ballooned the lead to 75-46.
Detroit led by as many as 31 points before holding an 82-60 edge after the
period, and the Pistons coasted to the lopsided win in the fourth.

Game Notes

The 117 points tied a Pistons season high, previously set on November 5, 2005
against Toronto…Wallace now has 7,017 career rebounds and 1,500 blocks in
his career…Zaza Pachulia had 11 points and 10 rebounds in the loss…Atlanta
made only 34 percent of its shots…Detroit has won four straight games
overall against the Hawks…The Pistons have also taken six consecutive
meetings in Atlanta and have not lost in Philips Arena since December 7, 2002.