Thursday , Mar , 09 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Pistons in cruise control

(Sports Network) – After battling back from an 11-point deficit versus Chicago
on Wednesday, the Pistons became the first team this season to clinch a
playoff berth.

Detroit head coach Flip Saunders doesn’t really have to do much with his
already-loaded squad since the Pistons can practically coach themselves. An
NBA-best 49-11, Detroit posted its 13th straight win at home and improved to
an amazing 27-2 as the host this season.

Versus the Bulls, Chauncey Billups scored 27 points and dished out nine
assists in a 106-101 win over the Bulls at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Rasheed
Wallace added 25 points for the Pistons, who earned a sweep of the four-game
season series with Chicago.

The Bulls have only beaten Detroit twice in the last 16 meetings.

The Pistons, seeded No. 1 in the Eastern Conference playoff race, will play
four of its next games on the road, starting with Washington on Saturday.

They are 4-5 in their last nine away games and 22-9 on the road this season.
After playing the Wizards at the Verizon Center, Detroit will host the Bobcats
before making trips to Toronto, New York and Charlotte.