Wednesday , Jan , 25 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Billups pushes Pistons past Minnesota in Saunders’ return

Minneapolis, MN (Sports Network) – Chauncey Billups poured in a game-high 27
points and handed out eight assists as the Detroit Pistons trounced Minnesota,
107-83, in head coach Flip Saunders’ return to the Target Center.

Saunders, who was fired by the Timberwolves in February 2005 after 9 1/2 years
of service and took over for Detroit this season, was facing his former team
for the first time.

Six Piston players finished in double figures including Tayshaun Prince and
Rasheed Wallace, who had 15 points apiece. Antonio McDyess added 16 points off
the bench for Detroit, which has won eight straight and 10 of its last 11

Kevin Garnett posted a double-double with 21 points and 10 rebounds for the
Timberwolves, who have dropped three of four.

“That’s a well-oiled machine over there, and it was hitting on all cylinders,”
said Garnett.

Rashad McCants chipped in 14 points and Wally Szczerbiak had 13 in the loss.

Minnesota owned a 46-45 halftime edge but the Pistons outscored Minnesota
33-13 in the third quarter to take a commanding 78-59 lead.

Detroit used a 10-0 run midway through the third to open up a 61-51 advantage
after Hamilton’s lay-in with 5:35 remaining.

The Pistons extended their lead to 21 points early in the final stanza on a
pair of free throws by Prince and cruised from there.

Minnesota was outworked on the glass, 47-33, and went just 1-of-5 from behind
the arc.

Game Notes

The 50-year-old Saunders went 411-326 during his tenure with Minnesota, and he
guided the Timberwolves to a franchise-best and league-best 58-24 mark in the
2003-04 campaign. Minnesota advanced all the way to the conference finals
before losing to the Los Angeles Lakers in six games in the 2004
playoffs…The Pistons led by as many as 30 points…Despite the lopsided
loss, Minnesota outscored Detroit in the paint, 42-34.