Wednesday , Nov , 22 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Billups, Pistons down Hawks

Detroit, MI (Sports Network) – Chauncey Billups had 24 points and 10 assists
to propel the Detroit Pistons to a 103-98 win over the Atlanta Hawks at the
Palace at Auburn Hills.

Richard Hamilton added 15 points while Tayshaun Prince chipped in 15 points
and 11 rebounds for the Pistons, who have won four straight games. Rasheed
Wallace finished with 14 points and 13 boards.

“It was a grind-it-out game,” said Detroit coach Flip Saunders. “Those are the
kind of games we like. We got after it defensively in the second half after a
slow start. We did things knowing they weren’t as fresh as you’d like to be,
so what you got to do is grind it out. You got to jam it inside and try to get
to the free throw line as much as you can and play that way.”

Joe Johnson had a game-high 25 points and Shelden Williams set a career-high
with 20 points and also grabbed 13 rebounds for his first career double-
double. Tyronn Lue donated 16 for the Hawks, who have lost four consecutive
contests.

“We’ve had four carbon-copy games (during losing streak),” said Atlanta coach
Mike Woodson. “We don’t rebound the ball. We’ve given four games away because
we don’t rebound. Whey they (opponents) miss shots, we’ve got to put bodies on
them and secure the ball.”

Trailing 73-72 heading into the final frame, Atlanta netted seven of the first
12 points, six of which came from Johnson, for a 79-78 margin.

The Pistons, though, answered with a 12-4 surge, highlighted by two offensive
rebounds from Antonio McDyess, resulting in a pair of easy buckets, for an
89-83 margin with under four minutes on the clock.

A pair of Lue free throws with 2:43 to play brought the Hawks within 91-87,
but that was as close as they would get.

The Pistons shot 9-of-10 from the line in the last 37 seconds to seal the
victory.

The Hawks jumped out to a 14-5 lead, including four points a piece from Josh
Smith and Zaza Pachulia. However, trailing 21-13, the Pistons closed the
opening 12 minutes on a 13-5 run to tie the game at 26.

Tied at 42-42 with under 3 1/2 remaining in the second quarter, Atlanta
tallied seven of the final 10 points, including four points from Williams for
a 49-45 halftime margin.

The Hawks opened up the third period with a 9-2 burst, which began with
Johnson’s trey, extending their lead to 58-47, but the Pistons countered with
a 12-2 rally, capped by Billups’ layup, narrowing the gap to 61-59.

Game Notes

The Pistons shot 41 percent from the floor, including 7-of-14 from long
distance, while Atlanta connected on 43 percent of its shots, including 7-
of-13 from beyond the arc…The Hawks turned the ball over 18 times…Detroit
has won three straight and seven of the last eight meetings…The Hawks have
lost four straight meetings in Detroit…Pachulia finished with 12 points and
seven boards.

ATL DET