NEW YORK, Dec. 15 (Ticker) -- Chauncey Billups and the Detroit Pistons trailed practically their entire game against the New York Knicks until when it counted most.

Billups scored 15 points, including a pair of free throws with 2.6 seconds left, as the Pistons rallied from a 16-point second-half deficit to defeat the Knicks, 94-93.

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Richard Hamilton scored 29 points - 17 after the break - to pace the Pistons, who avoided their first three-game losing streak of the season.

"I liked the second half," said Pistons coach Larry Brown, who tied Bill Fitch for fourth place on the all-time wins list with 944. "We fought back, cut a 16-point lead to six, let them get back and didn't give up."

Detroit was in a 56-40 hole at the break and still trailed, 93-90, after New York's Kurt Thomas split a pair of free throws with 34 seconds left. Hamilton made a short baseline jumper six seconds later, then forced Jamal Crawford into an off-balance jumper with six seconds left.

Billups grabbed the long rebound near the foul line and sprinted downcourt before being fouled by Stephon Marbury. A 91 percent foul shooter, Billups calmly sank the pair to give Detroit its first lead since 4-2.

"It was just instinct and you can't control instinct," Billups said. "(Brown) told me I made a great play, a smart play. If I didn't catch it on the run, I probably would have called timeout. But I caught it with so much momentum, I just wanted to attack."

After a pair of timeouts, the Knicks inbounded to Marbury, who briefly lost control of the ball, regained it but badly missed a long scoop shot just before the buzzer.

"We tried to pressure them," Brown said. "With 2.6 seconds, I'm not that concerned with them throwing it back. We made a good play. I think we got about three stops in a row down the stretch. If we play hard, something good is going to happen."

Billups' clutch foul shots atoned for his earlier missed 3-pointer. With the Knicks ahead, 92-90, Billups was left open but misfired with 50 seconds remaining.

"This was a tough game," Billups said. "I felt if we could get some stops, we could win the game. We kept grinding and grinding, and that's the way we play. We stuck in, stayed strong and pulled it out."

Crawford scored 25 points and Marbury 18 for New York, which failed to match its season-high three-game winning streak.

"We shouldn't have been in that situation tonight," Marbury said. "We stopped executing. We started taking bad shots and stopped doing the things that got us ahead."

The Knicks fell to 10-4 when leading at halftime. Four of their last five defeats have been when they have led through 24 minutes.

New York wasted a season-high 17 points from guard Allan Houston, who hit a 12-foot jump shot with 1:42 to play that gave the Knicks a 92-88 advantage.

"It's disappointing because we have had games like this before and we aren't mature enough to capitalize on mistakes at the end of game," Houston said. "When things are going well for us, we aren't disciplined enough to continue to stick to what is working. We will get there, but we have to get there quick, because throughout the season you establish certain habits."

Rasheed Wallace scored 18 points and Tayshaun Prince contributed 14 for Detroit, which improved to 3-0 in one-point games. The Pistons also shot 51 percent (19-of-37) in the second half while holding the Knicks to 36 percent (14-of-39).