Pistons Hang on for Another Windy City Win
Detroit 95, Chicago 87
CHICAGO, Feb. 24 (Ticker) -- Even on an off night, the Detroit Pistons still do just enough to win.
The Pistons overcame a sluggish performance from their starting unit to post their 13th straight road victory over the Chicago Bulls, 95-87.
"These kind of games are right up our alley," said Billups, who had 17 points and 12 assists. "The grind-out kind of games - we love that type of challenge. They did make it rough on us, though."
Antonio McDyess contributed a season-high 16 points and fellow reserve Maurice Evans added 15 to pick up the slack for the Pistons, who have not lost in the United Center since January 22, 2000.
"Because of all the crazy things that went on in the game, our bench got to play more," Evans said. "We (the bench) were all able to contribute and that's what the key was. For me the key was to be aggressive and things fell into place."
Included in that streak was a 92-79 triumph December 3 in which Wallace laughed at the Bulls' inability to keep up with the NBA's best team.
Using that game as motivation, Chicago had a much better performance in this one and drew within a basket multiple times in the final quarter but was unable to move in front.
"We got back in the game and then short-circuited a little bit with some offensive fouls," Bulls coach Scott Skiles said. "We battled them all the way to the end. We just couldn't make the plays."
Darius Songaila hit a tough jumper from the left baseline with the shot clock winding down to cut the deficit to 87-85 with 2:39 left. Billups answered with a basket 29 seconds later and Tayshaun Prince blocked Ben Gordon's layup on the other end.
After Evans missed, Billups blocked Luol Deng with 1:26 to play. Wallace's 3-pointer with 66 seconds remaining was off the mark, but Prince outjumped Chicago's Kirk Hinrich for a huge offensive rebound.
Prince and Billups hit 6-of-6 free throws down the stretch to seal the victory.
The teams combined for 53 personal fouls and seven technicals. Hamilton and Hinrich each were given technicals for a shoving match with 8:07 left in the third quarter. Following the incident, Hamilton exchanged words with Skiles.
"It's nothing I can share with you," Skiles said. "I do know it wasn't called for. They literally complain about every call all night long. They are having a great year doing it, too. I'm not sure, though, what that says."
"I'm not sure what (Skiles) was trying to do," Hamilton said. "I do know he is supposed to coach his team, but he doesn't need to be on the sideline running his mouth off trying to talk trash from the bench. He is not a player anymore, he is a coach. It's his job to coach his team, not to have slick stuff to say from the sideline. That's for his players to do, not for him to do."
Hamilton picked up his second technical fighting for position inside on Ben Wallace's layup that gave Detroit an 82-78 lead. He appeared to elbow Hinrich in the face.
"I don't think I needed to be ejected and I don't know why I was," Hamilton said. "Maybe at that point (referee Dan Crawford) was just trying to clean up the game." Gordon scored 24 points and Andres Nocioni scored all 17 of his in the third quarter for the Bulls, who committed 17 turnovers against a season-low 13 assists.
"We did a poor job of taking care of the ball," Gordon said. "There was too many times when we just just threw the ball away and we had to many offensive fouls."
McDyess scored 12 points in the first half, including a jumper in the waning seconds that gave the Pistons a 50-39 lead.