AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Jan. 19 (Ticker) -- Chauncey Billups
got hot to keep the Detroit Pistons even hotter.
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Billups scored the last 10 points of the game to lift the Detroit Pistons to their franchise record-tying 13th straight win, 85-77 over the San Antonio Spurs.
The Pistons tied the mark set by the 1989-90 squad, which went on to a second straight NBA championship. Detroit will have a chance to break the record Tuesday at Indiana, which has won 11 of 12.
"It's been neat because we were on a horrible streak in terms of the way we played and there was a lot of confusion out there," Pistons coach Larry Brown said. "These guys hung in and hung together and as a result, we've put some great games together."
"They're playing the way he taught me," said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, an assistant under Brown with the Spurs years ago and now with Team USA. "It's like playing ourselves. I actually thought about inviting him in to give our pregame talk. He could have done it just as well as I did."
Billups made just 1-of-8 shots through the first three quarters and began the final period on the bench, watching backup Chucky Atkins
keep Detroit in the game with his shooting. Atkins scored eight of his 14 points in the fourth quarter.
"Chucky was huge, man, Chucky was huge," Billups said. "He kept us in the game. He's the only reason we had a chance to win it at the end of the game, was his shots and his play out there."
Billups returned and answered Charlie Ward
's 3-pointer with one of his own, giving the Pistons a 72-72 tie with 3:17 remaining.
Detroit still trailed, 77-73, after a 3-pointer by San Antonio's Hedo Turkoglu
with 2:22 to go. But Mehmet Okur
made two free throws and Tim Duncan
missed a pair before Billups went to work.
One of the NBA's best clutch players, Billups made another 3-pointer, then sank a jumper and drew a foul. He completed the three-point play for an 83-77 lead with 48 seconds left.
"I don't know. It's just in me," Billups said. "I just always feel like I'm going to make it late in the games. When I miss, I'm surprised."
"Chauncey hit some excellent shots with defenders in his face," Duncan said. "He just stuck with it. We forced him into tough shots, just like we wanted to, and he hit them anyway."
After Robert Horry
missed a 3-pointer, Billups sank four free throws to seal the win. He scored 13 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter.
"Chauncey is what I consider a money player," Atkins said. "Regardless of how he plays for the first 43 minutes, the last five minutes, he's a guy who can get hot and make a lot of things happen."
"Chauncey came up with some heroics at the end and that was basically the entire difference," Popovich said.
Okur scored 18 points and Ben Wallace
contributed 16 rebounds and stout defense on Duncan as the Pistons ended a six-game slide to the Spurs dating to Dec. 3, 1999.
Duncan had 17 points, 10 rebounds and six assists. But he committed six turnovers and took just 13 shots as he was stifled down the stretch, missing two free throws and having a shot blocked by Wallace on consecutive possessions.
"Ben did an excellent job on me, especially with the block, and I missed the two free throws," Duncan said. "That was kind of a turning point. We had a chance to go up four (79-75) and instead, I gave them a chance to go ahead."
"It's a great challenge," said Wallace, who blocked three shots. "He's considered the best player in the league. It's definitely a challenge to get down and play a guy like that. That's something I thrive on."
The Pistons held a 58-56 lead entering the final period before Manu Ginobili
scored eight of his 10 points in a 10-minute span, giving the Spurs a 64-59 lead. Atkins answered with a driving layup and 3-pointer in an 8-0 burst.