Billups Stars as Pistons Hold Off Warriors
Detroit 106, Golden State 103
OAKLAND, Calif., Dec. 9 (Ticker) -- Chauncey Billups and Rasheed Wallace helped the Detroit Pistons execute to near perfection in a nail-biter.
Billups scored a season-high 29 points and Wallace and Richard Hamilton added 22 each as the Pistons won their fifth consecutive contest, a 106-103 triumph over the Golden State Warriors.
"We definitely got a chance to do something special right here," Pistons center Ben Wallace said. "We know we've got to stay poised and continue to work at it, and we can't afford to go out there and take it out there on our shoulders to the next game. We've just got to play and let the games take care of themselves."
With the game tied at 94-94, Rasheed Wallace intercepted a pass from Baron Davis and fed Billups, who made a finger roll shot with 2:11 left to put Detroit in front.
Moments later, Billups hit a layup over Mike Dunleavy Jr. to give the Pistons a 98-94 edge. But Jason Richardson scored on a floater for the Warriors with 42 seconds to go.
However, Detroit answered when Rasheed Wallace made a pass to Tayshaun Prince, who sank a one-handed turnaround shot in the left low post to widen the lead to 100-96 with 19 seconds remaining.
"We ran the direct play there," Prince said. "We went posting Rasheed up down the stretch and kept feeding him. And we knew that the last time we ran it, they drew so much attention, I just cut to the basket."
Derek Fisher and Hamilton each made a pair of free throws before Richardson buried a 3-pointer from the left corner with nine seconds left, giving him a season-high 36 points and making it 102-101.
"We are used to these kind of situations," Hamilton said. "Everyone knew that coming out in that fourth quarter, we had to execute some plays and control their offense. Jason and Baron played great tonight. They hit tough shots, but that is what we ask for. If they hit shots with hands in their face, we can't do anything about that."
After Billups and Davis both went 2-of-2 from the foul line, Rasheed Wallace made a long downcourt pass to Ben Wallace, who dunked with five seconds left. Fisher missed a final 3-pointer as time expired.
Davis sank his free throws after being fouled with six seconds remaining by Billups, who was attempting to prevent the Warriors' guard from tying the game with a 3-pointer.
"I think it's a great strategy, especially (against) a team that's as dangerous as them with that 3-point shot," Billups said. "They live and die by it. The more they shoot, the better the chance they're going to make some of them. Richardson hit a tough, tough one in the corner. I thought it was a great strategy."
"They didn't want us to get a shot off," Davis said. "That's what they did with their fouls and wanted us to go to the line and hit free throws, and we did."
Prince scored 15 points and Ben Wallace grabbed 10 rebounds for Detroit, which shot 51 percent (40-of-78) from the floor.
"We never want to get into a type of game like this," Prince said. "We always know we're not going to beat everybody by double-digit points and what not. Obviously, the first game of every West Coast trip is always tough. They came out, made shots all night and the key for us is, when a team is making shots all night, to keep it close and to execute down the stretch, and I thought we did that."
Fisher and Dunleavy scored 15 points apiece and Davis added 14 and 14 assists for the Warriors, who have lost two straight after a five-game winning streak.
"Detroit wins games like this because they're world champs and because of their ability at the end of the game to make plays," Golden State coach Mike Montgomery said. "We got in that one stretch where we couldn't make it up. We've got to learn how to close out games against quality opponents."
"We were right there in the end," Davis said. "It was just a tough loss, man. This one hurts because at 12-8, we can't afford to lose games like this. It was a great game and we had control of it. It was just tough. That's all I can say."