MILWAUKEE, April 24 (Ticker) -- Chauncey Billups and Richard Hamilton made sure the Detroit Pistons quickly regained home-court advantage from the Milwaukee Bucks.

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Billups scored 21 points, Hamilton had 17 and both hit key free throws down the stretch as the Pistons defeated the Bucks 95-85 to take a 2-1 lead in their Eastern Conference first-round series.

Detroit's Ben Wallace scored 13 points and hauled in 21 rebounds.
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Tayshaun Prince added 16 points, Ben Wallace chipped in 13 and 21 rebounds and Rasheed Wallace had 10 and 11 for third-seeded Detroit, which had lost home-court advantage in the best-of-seven series Wednesday with a 92-88 setback.

"It's huge," Billups said. "That's what we set out to do. It's been a miserable couple days for us, giving up home-court advantage, and we wanted to come out here today and take care of business. And we did that."

Detroit trailed by as many as 12 points in the first half, which ended with the Bucks holding a 49-42 lead. But the Pistons opened the second half with a 23-4 spurt, taking a 65-53 lead on a three-point play by Billups with 6:08 left.

"We were playing in spurts (in the first half), but we weren't making the simple plays. We were trying to make the fantastic plays early on," Ben Wallace said. "Coming into the third quarter, we made simple plays, we passed the ball and let the other guy make a play -- that's playing basketball."

Milwaukee pulled within 85-84 on a dunk by Joe Smith with 4:20 to play in the fourth quarter, but Hamilton made a pair of free throws 17 seconds later, then sank two more with 3:28 remaining to open an 89-84 cushion.

Prince blocked a layup attempt by Brevin Knight, was fouled and sank two free throws to make it 91-84 with 3:08 left, and Milwaukee got no closer than six points thereafter.

Billups closed the scoring by going 4-of-4 from the line in the final 31.2 seconds.

"We knew we were in the bonus and we wanted to get to the basket," said Billups, whose team did not make a basket over the final 5:34. "Even if we had a wide-open jumper, we wanted to get to the basket."

"It's really frustrating," Bucks guard Michael Redd said. "For the most part, we played solid defense. They went to the free-throw line a lot in the fourth quarter. I think that's one of the things that really killed us."

The Pistons committed 12 first-half turnovers but had just six after the break.

"In the second half, I thought we executed a lot better and did get the ball inside," Detroit coach Larry Brown said. "Our defense picked up when we started making shots because then we got to set our defense up even though we didn't turn the ball over."

Redd and Desmond Mason scored 19 points apiece to pace Milwaukee, which was outrebounded, 52-36.

The Bucks continued their momemtum from Game 2 early in the contest, jumping out to a 23-11 lead on a 3-pointer by Damon Jones. The advantage was 30-22 after one period.

But the end of the game did not go nearly as well for Milwaukee, which missed its final nine shots and scored just one point in the final 4:20.

"We had shots at the basket," Bucks coach Terry Porter said. "We had some open shots, we just did not make them."

Game 4 is Monday in Milwaukee.

"We're closer than what people think we are," Redd said. "It's obvious when we stole the game down there and it went right down to the wire tonight. We'll just bounce back."