Balanced Pistons Best Bosh, Raptors
Detroit 113, Toronto 106
AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Dec. 27 (Ticker) -- The backcourt tandem of Richard Hamilton and Chauncey Billups was more than enough to counter a great effort by Chris Bosh.
Hamilton scored 24 points and Billups added 21 and 13 assists as the Detroit Pistons matched their longest winning streak of the season with a 113-106 triumph over the Toronto Raptors.
"We're getting good looks off great passes," said Detroit forward Tayshaun Prince, who scored 18 points. "They were doubling the post, so that created some open shots, too."
"We have some great shooters on this team, and when they get open and you get them the ball, they'll hit the threes," Billups said. "I had some good looks tonight."
The Pistons' outside shooting frustrated Toronto coach Sam Mitchell.
"We did some good things," Mitchell said. "We didn't turn the ball over a lot. We shot the ball decent. It's just tough when that team, as good as it is inside, is making threes."
Billups made five 3-pointers, including one that capped a 20-6 burst in the second quarter that gave Detroit a 61-41 advantage with 1:01 left in the first half, a lead that never really was challenged after the break.
Toronto got within 76-66 with just under four minutes remaining in the third quarter, but the Pistons answered with a 10-4 spurt that pushed the lead back to 16 points.
"We have to make sure that we pay attention to the little things," Bosh said. "I think we were one rebound away from cutting it to single digits in the third quarter, but they made us pay with the 3-pointer. We didn't match their intensity tonight, either."
Prince and Rasheed Wallace, who added 16 points, also connected on 3-pointers during the run as the Pistons improved the NBA's best record to 23-3.
"We're just taking it one possession at a time and trying to play good basketball," Wallace said.
"We took care of business tonight," Billups said. "Last year, we didn't always win the games we were supposed to win. This was a game we're supposed to win."
Bosh scored 13 of his points in the fourth quarter, when Toronto made the score respectable.
"If you watch SportsCenter tonight, I'm sure they won't even mention it because we didn't win," Bosh said. "The number of points you score isn't significant if you lose."
However, the Pistons were impressed by Bosh's performance.
"He's great," Prince said. "At the four position, as far as footwork and how quick he is, he's one of the best in the league. That's why he's able to create matchup problems. He's also able to knock down the 17-18-footer with efficiency."
"I like Chris a lot," Wallace said. "He's quick, a good athlete and he has a nice shot. He could put on a little more weight, though."
Mitchell said that he would like to rest Bosh a little more, but he can't afford to.
"I'd like to get him out at times, but it's hard," Mitchell said. "To his credit, he shows up and plays every night. I know he gets tired but he just has to suck it up and come to play like he's been doing. It's hard asking more of him but we are. We just have to have it."
Rookie Charlie Villanueva contributed 16 points on 7-of-11 shooting for the Raptors, who lost for the third time in their last eight road contests.