Detroit 111, L.A. Lakers 90
LOS ANGELES, Feb. 25 (Ticker) --
Once again, Chauncey Billups
look easy against the Los Angeles Lakers.
Billups scored 23 points through the first three quarters as the
Detroit Pistons maintained their dominance of the Lakers with a
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Last season, the eighth-year star averaged 26.5 points in two
regular-season games against Los Angeles and was the MVP of an
easy triumph over the Lakers in the 2004 NBA Finals, posting an
average of 21.0 points in the five-game series.
Billups' effort helped the Pistons kick off a season-high
six-game road trip with one of their most complete games this
"It was important for us to get off to a good start on this long
road trip coming up," Billups said. "We just want to use it as
a stepping stone and keep the momentum going better."
Billups was one of four Pistons in double figures in the first
half, scoring 12 points to help Detroit to a 58-45 lead. He had
the first basket of the second half and added back-to-back
3-pointers midway through the third period to give the Pistons a
"I just look to be aggressive all the time," Billups said. "I
don't know why they back off on me, but I like it. I'm glad
they do, but I really don't know why they do."
scored 26 points for Detroit, which never
trailed and led by at least 10 points after the opening moments
of the second quarter. The Lakers got within 85-75 early in the
fourth period, but the Pistons responded with six points in 63
"I feel great the way we are playing right now on both ends of
the court," Billups said. "I think we are better right now than
we were last year at this time. We know each other a lot
better and we know what we have to do to get back to where we
were last year."
Detroit shot 54 percent (44-of-82) from the field and had 24
assists against just five turnovers. The effort came three
games after the club had 32 assists and matched a franchise low
with only four turnovers.
"We definitely moved the ball early and got some easy baskets,"
Prince said. "But we missed some easy ones as well. We did a
good job with the pick-and-roll and got the ball to guys for
An 18-4 run later in the fourth quarter turned it into a rout,
sending Detroit to its seventh win in eight games vs. Los
Angeles, including the Finals. The Pistons matched a season
high with their sixth straight win and have won 11 of 12
had 20 points and 11 assists but was held scoreless
with four turnovers in the fourth quarter as the Lakers suffered
their worst home loss this season.
"They are clicking right now," Bryant said. "They are playing
like the Pistons of last year. It's too early to tell if they
are playing better than they did last year, but it does seem to
be starting to rev up their engines.
"They made some great individual plays tonight. Chauncey
Billups, Tayshaun Prince and Rasheed Wallace
just made some
great individual plays. I felt like we got a hand up in their
face and contested their shots. You know, sometimes you have
extremely talented basketball players who make extremely
difficult plays look easy."
Detroit coach Larry Brown
was pleased with his team's all-around
"We did a lot of good things," Brown said. "We defended well,
got out on the break for a great team effort. For this road
trip and what we've got ahead, this was a big game for us."
Prince came into the game expecting a strong showing by the
Lakers, who had their first three-game winning streak this
"You never expect a game to be like the way it was tonight,"
Prince said. "You expect it to be a barnburner, especially when
you have an L.A. vs. Detroit rivalry game. We caused some
turnovers and made some easy baskets."