EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J., Nov. 30 (Ticker) -- Richard Hamilton
continue to relish the chance to bury opponents
on their home floor.
Hamilton and Billups combined to score 30 second-half points -
each sinking a clutch 3-pointer in the final minutes - as the
Detroit Pistons maintained the best record in the NBA with a
93-83 victory over the New Jersey Nets.
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The Pistons (11-2) have been red-hot to start the season and
have been impressive on the road, where they have won seven of
"That's more impressive," Detroit coach Flip Saunders
matter who you play or where you play, it's tough."
"We play the exact same way everywhere we go," Billups said. "So
we're a dangerous road team. We just enjoy that opportunity to
quiet the crowd."
Detroit brought a hush over Continental Airlines Arena in the
third quarter, seizing control with a 17-5 run. Billups sparked
the burst with a jumper and capped it with a four-point play.
He was fouled by Jeff McInnis
as he buried a shot from the top
of the arc and sank the ensuing free throw for a 67-61 edge with
The Nets stayed within striking distance, but Hamilton buried a
3-pointer off a feed from Billups with 2:09 remaining for an
87-78 cushion. New Jersey's Vince Carter
responded with a
basket, but Billups sank his third 3-pointer of the game with 95
seconds left to seal it.
"It is always a grind in those last five or six minutes,"
Billups said. "We understand it can come down to one play and
we want to make that play."
"We have executed down the stretch very well this season,"
Saunders said. "In the last six minutes of the games we've
played, we've been flawless."
Hamilton finished with 30 points and Billups added 20 for the
Pistons, who made 10-of-20 3-pointers. Tayshaun Prince
3-pointers en route to 17 points and Rasheed Wallace
three and finished with 16.
Detroit became the latest team to exploit the lackluster
perimeter defense of New Jersey, which has allowed a league-high
116 3-pointers in 15 games this season.
"There are different things we could do to take away the cause
and effect in terms of how they get up those threes," Nets coach
said. "But we weren't able to get it done."
Carter scored 27 points and Richard Jefferson
collected 20 and
14 rebounds. But star point guard Jason Kidd
had just eight
points and five assists and did not speak with the assembled
New Jersey failed in its bid for its first three-game winning
streak of the season in its first home game following a 2-3 road
"Detroit is the measuring stick in the Eastern Conference,"
Frank said. "There's no moral victories. I think we're way
New Jersey missed nine of its first 10 shots and Detroit jumped
out to an early 12-point lead. But the Nets closed the first
quarter strong, then used a 12-2 burst to open the second
Carter scored eight straight points during the burst, giving New
Jersey its first lead at 31-30 on a floater over Maurice Evans
at 7:17 and adding a lefthanded hook over Prince 68 seconds
Carter scored 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting in the second quarter
and the Nets held the lead until the Pistons' strong