AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (Ticker) --
The Washington Wizards still
can't find a way to stop Chauncey Billups
Billups scored 14 of his 21 points in the first half as the
Detroit Pistons extended their winning streak over the Wizards
to nine games with a 107-86 victory.
NBA TV highlights from |
The reigning NBA Finals MVP, Billups has saved his best for
Washington this season. He scored a season-high 32 points - and
hit the game-winning basket - as Detroit overcame a 19-point
deficit Dec. 29, and contributed 28 and nine assists in the
Pistons' 105-96 triumph Feb. 1.
"Chauncey Billups presents problems to everyone," Washington
coach Eddie Jordan said.
Billups did most of his damage in this one in the opening two
periods, making 6-of-7 shots to stake Detroit to a big lead at
After Washington All-Star Gilbert Arenas
' 3-pointer cut the
Wizards' deficit to 37-34 with just over six minutes left in the
half, Billups and Richard Hamilton
combined for 13 points in a
19-5 run to close the period. Billups capped the spurt with a
driving layup with three seconds on the clock that made it
"We came in and we were battling for a minute," Arenas said.
"Then they just got out in the open and just took the game over
The Wizards drew within 58-49 on a layup by All-Star Antawn Jamison
two minutes into the second half, but Billups
contributed three of his five assists in a game-clinching 11-2
run that pushed the lead to 69-51 three minutes later.
"They know when momentum is on their side," Jordan said. "They
know when a team is playing mistake basketball like we did. It's
contagious, they feed off of it. They get better and better
each possession at both ends of the floor.
"They tighten that defense up, pretty much like a constrictor
out there. They just keep squeezing you and they know when to
squeeze the life out of you and put you down."
Billups made 7-of-9 shots, including 3-of-5 from the arc, and
did not play in the final period. Detroit shot 53 percent
(42-of-79) overall and made 6-of-12 3-pointers.
"I was talking to (Billups) when we were playing," Arenas said.
"I was like, 'Man, do you all ever miss?' As a team, they play
great basketball. I know they play great here at home."
In the locker room after the game, Laron Profit
turned to fellow
Wizards reserve Michael Ruffin
and said, "Chauncey Billups
loves playing the Washington Wizards."
Arenas scored 24 points, but Jamison was held to just 14 -
nearly seven below his season average - for the Wizards, who had
a four-game winning streak snapped.
"This defense reminds me of the defense they played pretty much
all of last year," Jamison said. "You beat one guy and you've
got another guy in your face, pulling and scrapping. This is
why they have a championship, because of the way they played
Hamilton had 20 points and eight assists for the Pistons
(30-19), who have won seven of their last eight to pass the
Wizards (30-20) for the second-best record in the Eastern
"We're comfortable out there right now, both offensively and
defensively," Billups said. "They've got some great players but
we're playing the way we do, and that makes us tough to beat."
tied a career high with seven of the Pistons'
season-high 33 assists.
"We were just great," Detroit coach Larry Brown said.
"Thirty-three assists on 43 (actually 42) field goals. You move
the ball like that and you'll do pretty good."