WASHINGTON, Dec. 29 (Ticker) -- Chauncey Billups
took over in the second
half and led the Detroit Pistons to their biggest comeback of
Billups scored 21 of his season-high 32 points after the break
and hit the game-winning jumper with 0.7 seconds left as the
Pistons rallied for a 107-105 victory over the Washington
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"He made a great play," Detroit coach Larry Brown
said. "He had
a hot hand and he called the play, I didn't call the play. He
had confidence to do it and make sure they did not get another
Trailing by 17 at the half, Detroit took the lead, 98-96, on
Billups' 3-pointer with 4:12 remaining. He added another shot
from the arc before Rasheed Wallace
made a hook shot to make it
103-96 with 2:49 left.
After Wizards guard Larry Hughes
tied it, 103-103, on a jumper
with 1:23 to play, Billups made the defensive play of the game
to prevent Washington from taking the lead.
Hughes stole a pass from Wallace with just over a minute to go
and appeared to have a clear path to the basket, but Billups
came up from behind to block the shot.
"He was going to take a tough shot anyway," Billups said. "There
was no way he could see that blind side. I just timed it, I
saw him coming the whole way and it was a big play for us."
Wallace and Antawn Jamison
traded buckets to set up Billups, who
drove past Gilbert Arenas
, who was hampered by foul trouble,
and nailed a pull-up jumper to give Detroit its third
"We just wanted to get the last shot," Billups said. "I knew
Arenas had five fouls, so he couldn't be too aggressive. If I
missed it, we go to overtime."
Washington coach Eddie Jordan
said that he did not regret
leaving Arenas in man-to-man coverage with Billups.
"Chauncey made a shot under duress," Jordan said. "I'll take
that any night. I didn't want to double him or leave someone
open for a wide-open shot to win the game. He hit a tough shot
under good defense."
Billups, who also had six assists, was 8-of-11 from the field in
the second half -- including 5-of-7 from the arc.
Arenas scored 34 points and Hughes had 30, seven assists and six
steals for the Wizards, who have lost 11 of 12 to the Pistons.
After a back-and-forth first quarter, Hughes scored seven points
in a 9-2 spurt that gave the Wizards a 34-25 lead two minutes
into the second. Hughes added eight more in the period as
Washington took a seemingly comfortable 59-42 advantage into the
"To have played the way we did in the first half, there really
aren't any excuses," Jamison said. "We can say this and we can
say that, but we have to do a better job at keeping our
composure and finding a way to win the game."
But Billups scored eight points and added two assists in an 18-2
run that cut the Pistons' deficit to 63-60 midway through the
third quarter. A 3-pointer by Lindsey Hunter
at the buzzer drew
Detroit within 79-74 with 12 minutes to go.
"We knew they were going to make a run," said Jamison who
finished with 16 points. "But we weren't able to get in sync and
get it done (defensively)."
Wallace scored 12 of his 23 points in the final period and
chipped in with 15 for Detroit (15-12), which
improved to three games over .500 for the first time this